“With the Flor do Café project I learned about coffee quality and by that I added value to my product, through selective harvesting, the right use of products at the right time to control pests and diseases within safety standards.
“Today I can interact with my husband on our coffee production issues. Olam helps to empower women, today I can control my cost of production and it was through Olam that I managed to make two coffee sales with premium for being part of this women's coffee group.”
- Rosana de Azevedo Felet, coffee farmer, São José, Paraná, Brazil
Women form the majority of the world’s estimated 25 million coffee farmers, doing much of the production activities, yet they don’t have equal access to training in sustainable coffee practices, inputs, income and other benefits derived from coffee sales.
But in the north of Paraná in Brazil, Olam has been working with an all-women group of coffee producers to help them get the resources, skills, knowledge, and voice they need to reach their full agricultural potential.
“Being part of the group is very good because I got to know other coffee farmers. I learned how to take care of my coffee production. I did coffee management trainings... I also learned about coffee sales and how the market works. All of this learning was essential for me to make decisions on the farm and manage my costs.”
- Zilda Aparecida de Souza Monteiro, coffee farmer, Paraná, Brazil
But it’s not just about status. We know that women are more likely than men to invest income back into their families, and their receptiveness to new technologies and best practices means they have an important contribution to make to a sustainable and sufficient supply of good quality coffee for mainstream and specialty markets.
So when the status of women improves, poverty is reduced, nutrition improves and agricultural productivity increases. A good reason why we need to wake up to gender equality.