Strauss Coffee has partnered with Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers and the Relationship Coffee Institute to introduce an innovative incentive programme for women coffee farmers in Colombia.
The move builds on Strauss Coffee’s commitment in early 2017 to a long-term partnership with women led coffee producing organisations around the world. Strauss will commit financial support for initiatives to improve coffee quality of women’s groups through infrastructure development, equipment purchasing and training.
“Research has shown us that women are responsible for over 70 per cent of the work in the global coffee market, yet they often own about 15 per cent of the land, mills and actual product,” said Orr Rachlevsky, Strauss’ director of strategy and projects. “Women are the driving force behind families and communities. Investing in women is the best investment we can make.” Currently, Strauss Coffee supports projects in Honduras, DR Congo, Vietnam and El-Salvador.
In the three-year project in Colombia, Strauss Coffee will work with a 300-member women’s organization that is part of the Coocentral co-operative in the Huila department. Strauss will help the women through Premium Sharing Rewards, an incentive programme that helps farmers master training to increase productivity and quality. “We see this partnership with Strauss as a great opportunity for our women’s program to continue to improve the quality of our coffee and our livelihoods,” says Dora Mora, member and leader of the Coocentral women’s programme.
Premium Sharing Rewards was developed by Sustainable Harvest, which has a long history of working with co-operatives that put women in positions of leadership and decision-making. Sustainable Harvest’s sister organization, the non-profit Relationship Coffee Institute – with support and funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies – successfully piloted Premium Sharing Rewards with two Rwandan women’s co-operatives in 2015.