Scyphus is going 100% Bio in 2018, and would encourage our customers to opt for PLA coated biodegradable paper cups. These Compostable Cups are not only your contribution to a landfill reducing clean environment, it also adds to the trust to your brand image.Read More
The International Coffee Day will be celebrated on the 1st of October 2018. This year, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) has picked a very special theme: ‘Women in Coffee’. From planting coffee seeds to processing, from trading to brewing, women occupy a crucial role in the running of the coffee industry. The 2018 campaign goes far beyond simply celebrating women’s participation in the industry. It is also an opportunity to underline the need for equity and equality in the sector that can only be achieved through empowerment of both men and women.
This year, the ICO is reiterating its appeal to member countries, private companies, independent businesses, public associations, and coffee lovers around the world to enthusiastically organise events or campaigns. Last year, the International Coffee Day was celebrated across 45 countries. The first International Coffee Day was celebrated in 2015, launched in Milan. This global event is a celebration of coffee’s journey from the farm to our cup of coffee, and a recognition of the hard work of men and women who grow and harvest our much-loved coffee.
As Kofi Annan highlighted, “when women are fully involved, the benefits can be seen immediately: families are healthier; they are better fed; their income, savings and reinvestment go up. And what is true of families is true of communities and, eventually, whole countries.” Today, however, the reality of women in the coffee industry is murky and women are far from being empowered. Be it in Brazil or Burundi, Cameroon or Colombia, India or Indonesia, women are playing an increasingly active role in the coffee industry without receiving the due acknowledgement.
According to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, women represent 43% of the labour force in agriculture. They shoulder important responsibilities as farmers, labourers and entrepreneurs but solely 23-35% of coffee farms are headed by women, according to recent studies. Women in the coffee industry face greater barriers than their male counterparts. First of all, they are expected to continue to fully shoulder the traditional roles of a mother and homemaker apart from working in the coffee industry without any help. Gender norms and cultural barriers in coffee producing countries furthermore entail series of constraints such as reduced access to land ownership, credit, markets, technology, seeds, information and education, and even water.
It is vital to close this gender gap to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality, bring larger economic benefits, improved welfare for rural communities and higher productivity to meet the swelling demand for coffee. The need for enhanced public policies and availability of services is palpable.
Being one of the most traded commodities in the world, coffee engages a strong workforce and demands a colossal amount of resources to move from farm to cup. Women play a critical role in the coffee industry which is notoriously male-dominated and disproportionately powered by women labourers. Revenues in the industry are equally disproportionately nabbed by men. From a global view, coffee farm owners are males and cooperatives are run by men. Women, on the other hand, are mostly confined to the fields as workers. Working mostly as temporary employees, women labourers are paid sparse remuneration. They are also vulnerable in the sense that they can often become victims of fraudulent acts such as wage theft or deceptive hiring practices. Permanent female workers are not in a better position either: they are also required to perform year-round duties beyond harvest, especially in family-owned farms and are often not entitled to a formal wage as the capital is reinvested into the farm itself for other priorities.
Such gender inequity has consequently become embedded in the industry, not giving enough room for the promotion of sustainability of coffee. To create a prosperous business model and to allow the industry to thrive to be able to meet demands, the gap has to be bridged according to industry experts. At the same time, sustainability in the coffee industry has to be achieved rapidly as unethical practices and climate change may start to stifle it. Today’s demand in the coffee industry is very specific. Customers demand high-quality coffee that is sustainably sourced, such as specialty coffee. The latter’s production can bring more than double the price of commodity coffee, but it also has its load of challenges like a greater need for extra work and working capital.
Worldwide organisations, as well as NGOs in coffee producing countries are working hard to bridge gender gaps and encourage women to step into leadership roles. They are being taught to make quality a priority to be able to demarcate their products and thrive as businesses. Women are now being emboldened to overcome gender bias and step into rightful leadership roles in the coffee industry. In various coffee-producing countries, they are now ascending ranks. These women are bringing solutions to combat unduly cheap coffee by placing quality as the priority. Kohana Coffee, for instance, is one of those companies that are planning to source completely from women-owned and women-run coffee farms by 2020. Direct relationships between farmers and retailers and roasters are being encouraged.
At the consumer end, retailers possess a variety of means to promote the coffee to attract consumers. Custom coffee paper cups have become the very embodiment of coffee brands. Today, they can be tailored to meet every single need of coffee shops. Custom paper cups can be branded with poignant messages or QR codes allowing customers to easily access information about the coffee beans conveniently through their smartphones. By simply scanning a QR code, for instance, they can obtain details about the coffee beans used to make their coffee, they can get to know the identity of the coffee farmers and understand the whole process that was carried out before their coffee landed into their cups.
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