This International Women’s Day we’re super excited to bring you a special trio of unique coffee’s from women cooperatives in Rwanda, Colombia & Guatemala.
Growing coffee gives a sense of dignity and pride, provides income and gives access to education, to health care and more than anything a connection to community.
We've enjoyed roasting each of these coffees for many years and are proud to continue to support smallholder producers with a limited production and a quality focus.
COLOMBIA - AMACA - WASHED
AMACA (Asociación de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias translating to - Association of Women Producers) is a group of female producers in El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia who we visited in 2019. The association was formed in 1999 by 80 women who were heads of their households, deriving their livelihood and the livelihoods of their families from the cultivation and production of coffee. In 2008, AMACA partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, the governor of Cauca, and the municipality of El Tambo to increase the production and quality of coffee on 80 members' farms. In 2010 the organisation “Social Action” supplied 22 Farms with new wet mills and processing tanks.
Today, 140 active members from three different villages across the El Tambo municipality make up AMACA. The average farm size is 1 hectare (5000 trees) per member, although some members have 3+ hectares and many have less than one. This coffee comes from a group of the AMACA members who live in a community called La Muyanga. In terms of harvesting and process, most members are harvesting only fully ripe cherries, de-pulping on the same day as harvest, processing on their own farms, and drying on raised beds inside parabolic dryers.
To encourage and continue the great work happening on these farms, a premium is paid to AMACA above the value of the coffee itself to support their goals and aspirations as a group. Their mantra is simple: improve the quality of life for their members and members' families.
Currently, one of their most pressing needs is a warehouse space to properly receive, cup, manage, and store their coffees. We believe these premiums can help them to accomplish these goals and in turn, Support this passionate and strong-willed group of women in their love and livelihood of quality coffee.
- Profile: Stone Fruit, Kiwi, Toffee
- Specialty Score: 85
- Harvest: 2021
- Process: Washed
- Variety: Colombia, Castillio
- Altitude: 1715-1750m
- Area: El Tambo, Cauca
- Country: Colombia
- Sourcing Partner: Cafe Imports
RWANDA - KCRS - WASHED
85% of the growers that make up Cooperative Coffee Rusiga Sector (KCRS) have farms that are situated at 2000masl or higher. These farmers cultivate an incredibly diverse selection of crops on their smallholder plots, including legumes, beans and sweet potatoes, that can be grown in between the coffee trees. This is not always to the benefit of the crop, but does provide a steady yearly income, while also providing a vital food source for their own consumption.
The coffee itself is produced by women farmers. Even though there are some male members of their families, the ownership of the farms and the land belong to the women. The support that these smallholder farmers rely on has been found to flourish under this structure, with the method often used to help improve the coffee on a farm if the individual is struggling.
Our import partners, DRWakefield, source the coffee through Kinini and Jacquie who have been active in helping the women establish their cooperative, with on-going training, advice and assistance behind the scenes.
- Profile: Brown Sugar, Red Fruit, Rooibos
- Specialty Score: 86
- Harvest: 2022
- Process: Washed
- Variety: BM71, Jackson
- Altitude: 1800-2500m
- Area: Rusiga, Rulindo
- Country: Rwanda
- Sourcing Partner:DR Wakefield
GUATEMALA - RED DE MUJERES - WASHED
Red de Mujeres (Network of Women), is a large group of female coffee producers covering five different areas of Huehuetenango. Of the three non-volcanic growing regions of Guatemala, Huehuetenango is the highest and driest. Dry, hot winds blow into the mountains from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, protecting the region from frost and allowing Highland Huehue to be cultivated up to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters). These high altitudes, coupled with the unique climate and chalky soils of Huehuetenango, make it ideal for the production of exceptional arabica coffee.
Red de Mujeres is made up of 830 women. Within the entire community there are 8 different languages spoken, highlighting the diversity of culture and language in this particular area of Guatemala. All of these women have been either widowed during the 36 years of civil war in Guatemala, or were left when their husbands fled the country during the coffee crisis between 2001 and 2004. Since Huehuetenango was one of the areas hardest hit by the crisis, many people decided to give up altogether and find work elsewhere, leaving their families behind.
With the help of ACODIHUE, a coffee growing organisation who provide support to coffee farmers through empowerment, education, financial support and help with resources, these female producers have been united in marketing their coffee and finding international buyers. ACODIHUE has also supported them in training in organic farming methods, from producing and applying fertilizers, to rust and pest control methods.
- Country: Guatemala
- Region: San Antonio Huisia, Huehuetenango
- Producer:Red De Mujeres
- Process: Washed
- Altitude: 1700-1960
- Variety: Caturra, Bourbon, Typica