In light of Women’s Month and recent International Women’s Day, we're honoring the role of women in coffee. We also recognize the gender inequalities that unfortunately still prevail in our industry, and we've highlighted ways that you can directly support women with the coffee you buy, whether at the coffee shop or while purchasing from home.
Did you know women make up almost half of the world’s agricultural workforce, own 25% of the world’s coffee farms, and also form 70% of the workers in the coffee supply chain? Yet, women earn 39% less than their male counterparts, receive less access to training, and still experience gender discrimination in the lands they work. 
The gender gap in coffee is real. But the good news is that there are organizations working diligently to close the gap, and there are many brave and inspiring women owned operations and women leading these empowerment organizations.
By closing the gap, agricultural yields on women’s farms would be expected to increase by 20-30%, quality of life would increase at origin, and the culture of gender discrimination would erode - it all begins at the production level.
Ways to Support
While Peak State supports women coffee farmers with every bag sold, here are five other organizations that have paved the way and work diligently to empower women in coffee:
1. Cafe Femenino is an ethical sourcing program committed to ending the cycle of poverty. It provides direct compensation to women farmers along with the opportunity and resources to enable them to enact positive change in their communities and on their own terms. You can support them by buying coffee from one of their roasting partners (learn of two of them by reading on...).
2. The International Women’s Coffee Alliance empowers women in the international coffee community so that they may achieve meaningful and sustainable lives. The IWCA encourages and recognizes the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry. You can support them by donating directly as a member, via Amazon Smile, or by buying coffee from a partner (again, keep reading).
3. Fair Trade. Did you know that some farmers are only paid 25 cents per pound? This is extremely unethical. While a Fair Trade certification is not necessarily a symbol of gender equality, it ensures that farmers are guaranteed a minimum price, even when commodity prices drop, which makes coffee farming sustainable for farmers and farming communities. Fair Trade also ensures coops are paid a premium so that coffee farming communities can thrive. It is very important to ensure that the coffee you buy is either Fair Trade or pays fair prices at origin.
4. Bean Voyage is a nonprofit that has developed a “Care Trade” model. Bean Voyage focuses on educating and training women coffee farmers so that they may increase their yield, learn best practices, and it even connects women owned operations with markets so that they may grow their sales. You can support them by buying their green or roasted coffee beans from their website.
5. Ampersand Coffee Roasters is a specialty coffee roaster that focuses on quality environmental sustainability, and empowering women. The company supports both Cafe Femenino and the IWCA with every bag sold. You can support them by buying their roasted coffee in person or via their website.
Thousands of women comprise the workforce of the coffee supply chain, and while the gender gap remains, we can change it. It’s majority women who are on the front lines of farming labor, and because of this, it is women who, if given more knowledge and power, will play the largest role in shifting the industry towards environmental sustainability. It’s up to us to use our purchasing power to help close the gender gap.
What About Peak State?
Yes, when you buy Peak State, you’re also supporting the bad ass women who grow our coffee. Supporting women is built into our supply chain! Each roast you buy directly supports women at origin, whether our Cafe Femenino Sumatra Dark Roast or any bag of beans you buy, all directly benefit the International Women's Coffee Alliance. And if you're looking to load up on some more coffee, our Kickstarter is still live through March 27th.
Thanks for reading!