Giving women farmers a voice
To participate, Café Femenino cooperatives must provide their women farmers with access to a host of political and economic benefits, including:
Legal rights to the land on which they farm
Leadership positions within the cooperatives
Financial and business decision-making power
Direct payment for their coffee, including a Café Femenino premium
Women in remote and rural coffee communities face a host of challenges that keep them trapped in poverty. Many of these isolated women live in male- dominated societies and have very little financial control or decision-making power.
In 2003, 464 women farmers in northern Peru decided to change this dynamic by separating their coffee production from the men’s. In that moment, for the first time, this group of women created their own product and income. Their coffee cooperative CECANOR joined their commercial partner Organic Products Trading Company (OPTCO) to create Café Femenino—a gender-focused program to support social justice and empowerment for women coffee producers worldwide.