Thursday, December 2, 2010

Coffee and Women

Most of us slide out of bed in the morning and eventually make our way to the coffee maker.  We scoop beans into a coffee grinder and press the button making a whirring sound that sends our pets scurrying to the corners of the room.  The aroma of freshly ground coffee begins to liven our early morning senses.  We scoop the grounds into the filter and press another button to start the brewing.  We busy ourselves with our morning routine as the coffee grounds and water create their magic concoction.  We pour the soothing morning brew into our favorite mug.  Then we begin our day.
 Other women begin their day as coffee farmers planting and harvesting to ultimately gather the beans that will eventually become our morning cup of fresh brew.  The World Bank estimates that over 500 million people are dependent on the coffee industry, according to the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA)  Of the 25 million coffee farmers, the majority are women.  These women work in coffee growing regions in areas of the world where it is difficult to establish political, social or economic power as women.  Their voices strive to be heard within their family businesses and communities where the voices of men are only considered.
The IWCA began in 2003 by six women.  The organization is a global network of women in coffee advocating for the reduction of barriers for these women in coffee producing countries by providing access to resources while creating a forum to connect with other women in the coffee chain from seed to cup.

While sipping your coffee some morning this week, take a moment and recognize the women coffee farmers of the world and send them appreciation in your thoughts.  Perhaps take a moment to view the IWCA site for ways to contribute.