Gender Equality in Green Coffee Production (Quick Facts!)

9 Min Read
Gender Equality in Green Coffee Production

Women are much less likely to have access to land, decision-making, financing, inequality in the coffee industry and coffee expertise than males are in the coffee-producing industry.

When women are prevented from gaining equal access to these opportunities due to social and economic factors, the gender equity gap is growing.

Many tropical nations rely on coffee for economic stability, with an estimated 25 million rural households making a living growing and preparing coffee.

Women have an essential role as farmers, laborers, and business owners across the coffee value chain, yet they are severely limited in their access to production variables.

Only one-third of the world’s coffee farms are run by women, as stated in a 2018 International Coffee Organization (ICO) study. Even None less, women and girls perform around 70% of the physical labor on these farms.

Women are much less likely than males to be in positions of power in coffee production, where they would have access to land, decision-making, funding, and coffee expertise.

Women are typically held back by the social and economic obstacles to these resources, which eliminates equitable access and increases the gender equality gap.

Because of these inequalities, the average coffee harvest on farms run by women is often 25 percent lower than on those run by males.

To some extent, therefore, would global coffee output increase if gender equity were to improve in areas that produce coffee?

Gender equity issues in coffee production:

According to 2017 research by the World Economic Forum, for the first time in more than a decade, the worldwide gender gap had grown.

The analysis also found that 50 out of 192 nations surveyed did not provide equal protection for men and women.

Consideration of gender equity is essential to recognizing gender equality. But what exactly sets them apart?

Higher Grounds Trading Co. is a B-Corp accredited roaster in Michigan, and Jennifer Yeatts is the Director of Coffee there.

She says that “equality” means that everyone has access to the same opportunities and benefits. On the other hand, equity means everyone has access to the resources they require to succeed.

Chris Treter serves as the company’s director at Higher Grounds Trading. He elucidates it further by adding to it.

“Equity considers that groups and people confront different challenges according to the circumstances and historical context into which they were born,” he explains. Each person needs individualized assistance due to the wide range of their own requirements and challenges.

Closing the gender equality gap necessitates considering the unique challenges women and girls face (and addressing these head-ons to increase their access to resources and opportunities).

Jennifer highlights an increase in the number of cultures and communities in developing countries that have begun to adopt views that value gender equality and diversity.

While this is fantastic news, it also highlights the need to implement similar policies in areas where coffee is grown.

Chris describes several challenges women experience in coffee manufacturing.

To summarize what he says, “women typically do not have access to resources on an equal level compared to males,” he means things like land, credit, and knowledge. “This leads to unfavorable effects, such as decreased productivity and farmer revenues.

Additionally, the foundational elements needed to function outside these groups are more challenging. Lack of literacy, which leads to a lack of economic opportunities, is one example.

Why is gender equity in the coffee market so crucial?

According to a 2018 analysis by the International Coffee Organization, female coffee farmers are highly underestimated.

It draws attention to the fact that women perform up to 70% of the work in the coffee industry, but they are consistently given less access to resources like land, financing, and knowledge than males. A “measurable gender difference in economic results, including yields, productivity, and agricultural revenue,” as a result.

However, there is also evidence that economic development, poverty reduction, and increased agricultural productivity can result from women’s full engagement in public, economic, and political life.

According to FAO studies, eliminating the gender gap in low-income nations’ access to resources would increase global agricultural output by 2.5% to 4%. This means more farm revenue and better overall household well-being.

Female Barista Society organizer Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery comments that women “do so much effort in this sector” but aren’t given due credit for it or paid fairly for it.

Even though research has consistently demonstrated that females are superior to males in creativity, good judgment, and communal decision-making, they put the future of their communities and their children ahead of their own short-term gains.

The role the GEI can play in narrowing the gap.

Even though many groups in the coffee industry have worked to reduce discrimination against women, keeping track of their successes and failures may be challenging.

Metrics frequently leave out vital indications or ignore less visible areas, such as the education of males in connection to gender equity.

The GEI is meant to build a shared awareness of gender equality concerns that may encourage talks for change with the help of roasters, green coffee suppliers, and non-governmental organizations.

The Jackson School of International Studies at Yale University provided additional insight to help pinpoint service needs.

Equal Origins CEO Kimberly Easson describes the GEI as an instrument of empowerment.

When trying to gauge the effectiveness of a particular strategy, it helps to have a primary metric like the Gender Equality Index (GEI) that provides a shared vocabulary for doing so.

The GEI provides crucial background information and a springboard for businesses that wish to achieve more or better. In other words, it’s a resource that encourages immediate, concrete steps toward gender equality.

Why should we promote Gender Equality?

It goes without saying that we should support gender equality in general. Equal rights for women and men should be a priority. Here are a few more practical reasons for fixing this issue that you might consider.

To start, the coffee could definitely be better. Women may boost agricultural productivity by as much as 30 percent if they have access to land and capital.

The product will be of higher quality if women have easier access to resources like education and healthcare.

Previous studies show that when women coffee producers were given equal opportunities, their cupping ratings increased.

Second, whether or not the coffee business is involved, it has been shown that empowering rural women with financial resources and decision-making authority boosts economic development in the region.

In contrast to males, women are more inclined to invest their money in items like food, education, healthcare, and home upgrades.


This is only the beginning. Women in the coffee business encounter challenges that need to be better understood before they can be overcome. The result will be a more equitable society, with higher-quality coffee as an excellent addition.


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