Even though women provide 70% of all labor on coffee farms, at times they do not have control over their income, how to spend it, or even to make decisions on their own farms. They struggle to get access to the education that would help them improve their coffee and qualify for programs that can lead to access to international markets and a higher income.
We became aware of this situation three years ago when we met Olga, a woman coffee grower who lived in Tolima, Colombia. At that time, she was facing serious challenges. She wanted to keep growing coffee, but could only dream about having a high enough income to offer familiy a better quality of life. At that time, she didn’t know how to accomplish that dream.
Inspired by her story, a story not all that different from what most coffee growers deal with in Colombia, we decided to structure Caficultora 2.0 project not only aimed at increasing the income of 50 women from Cauca, Colombia (50 Amigas), but also at showing rural communities that things can be done differently.
By leveraging the potential of new technologies such as e-commerce and social media to develop skills and connect directly with consumers, these women give themselves an opportunity to improve their livelihoods and gain a more equal footing in the world.
When you buy 50 Amigas coffee, how do you benefit women coffee growers?
Traditionally from a bag of roasted coffee sold in the United States, the small-holder coffee producer receives between 4% and 6% of each pound sold. At Indiegrow, 10-15% of sales proceeds of your purchase goes directly to the coffee grower. That means that growers' income may increase up to 230% in comparison to the traditional model of selling unroasted coffee.
A higher income gives women coffee growers more power over their decisions. That type of female empowerment means they can produce more and better coffee, fulfill personal and family needs, and assume a leadership role for other women.
We promote the sale of organic coffee and highlight the efforts women coffee growers have put into place to increase organic processes that helps reduce the carbon footprint and improve climate change through important water consumption savings (up to 50%) and natural fertilizers creation (compost).
5 ways we work together to create a positive impact
1. Indiegrow connects you directly with the women who grow your coffee. Most brands don’t know who produced the coffee they sell. We not only know these women behind the 50 Amigas brand; we’ve created a bond of friendship with them. We understand their challenges because we’ve listened to them, spent time with them, and we care about them.
2. We promote transparency and traceability not only in coffee production but also in the whole commercialization process, from the farm to consumer, which includes income distribution from every purchase, and contributes to responsible consumption.
3. Caficauca, our ally and the main stakeholder in the coffee industry in Cauca, develops skills in the women we work with, providing technical assistance to improve the coffee quality, and sensory analysis so women learn how to cup and enjoy their coffee.
4. Our partner, Mercy Corps, is a trusted international NGO that connects the participants with the opportunities and the private sector, making the program posible. They also monitor and evaluate the impact we make in the entire value chain to ensure that coffee growers receive what is promised.
5. At Indiegrow, and thanks to our partnership with Caficauca and Mercy Corps, we work hard to increase the income of small-scale coffee growers. The coffee grower receives direct profit from each coffee bag you buy, and we inform you about the positive impact of your purchases.
This creates a virtuous economic circle between coffee growers and consumers.
Working towards the 2030 Agenda
As a strategic partnership (Indiegrow, Mercy Corps, Caficauca) initiative financed by the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund and supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), we are working under the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Aiming to contribute to the advance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), we are developing a new commercialization channel looking forward to providing smallholder farmers access to new markets and, with this, social and economic progress.
Read more about SDG's here - https://sdgs.un.org/goals.