Every year, we release a coffee that’s extra special to us. Not only is this coffee sourced from three amazing coffee farms in East Africa, it’s produced by incredible women working to help empower generations of women around them. We’re excited to introduce you to the queens behind the coffee.
The first coffee comes from the 297 women members of the Koakaka Cooperative, located in the Nyamagabe district of Southern Rwanda. We continue to be amazed by these women, having recovered from horrible genocide and banding together to create peace and a better life for younger generations. The women in this cooperative have seen great success selling coffee as a collective; that’s why more and more women continue to join as they want to be a part of something that’s helping the community.
Just across Lake Kivu from Rwanda is the second farm we sourced this year’s blend from. The Muungano Cooperative in the Democratic Republic of Congo was started in 2009 and of its 4,400 members, half are women. Muungano is Swahili for “togetherness” and that’s exactly the what the cooperative has been working towards. Having also overcome years of civil and tribal wars, the group adopted the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) in order to address the gender inequalities within the coffee industry.
Heading southeast of the Congo, we find our last farm. The Mzuzu Coffee Cooperative Union in Malawi has 3,000 members and 25% are women. This co-op actively emphasizes gender equity, creating internal programs that focus on improving access to land for women and encouraging women to become key decision makers within the home and in leadership positions within the organization.
We are so proud to work with farms that are working toward a better future for their communities. By choosing to partner with co-ops who see the importance in gender equality, we are not only helping these farms grow, but showing other farmers that the demand for equality is here and encourage others to follow suit. As part of our mission to spread better coffee practices, we are donating $10,000 to the Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) with the release of our Three Queens Blend. PGE is an organization working to help women in coffee producing countries achieve gender equity. Now you can also help bridge the gap in gender equality and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at the same time.