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Trias and AgriCord serve EDD19 participants a tasty cup of gendersensitive coffee
To safeguard that coffee continues to be available in the future, the coffee sector must ensure a promising future for women and men, and especially youth, in coffee communities.
This year’s theme of the European Development Days (EDD19) was ‘Addressing inequalities: Building a world which leaves no one behind’. This yearly two day event brings together more than 8,000 participants from 140 countries worldwide, representing 1,200 organisations from the development community, including Heads of State or Government, leading experts, key influencers and young leaders. This year Trias joined AgriCord and other member Agri-agencies We Effect, CTA and FAO’s Forest and Farm Facility, for a cluster stand presenting the different experiences on engaging women and young farmers in the coffee sector to ensure long term sustainability.
Women in the coffee value chain
Generational and gender inequality poses sustainability issues in the coffee sector, where the predominantly male sectors’ farmers are rapidly aging. As for now, the sector's production capacity is stretched to its limit to satisfy the growing demand of today’s coffee loving millennials which continue to rise to record levels.
A remarkable trend is that the production is increasingly in the hands of women. This is because young people and men in Latin America often leave the rural areas. In search of a better life, a significant number of young people and men move to the towns or even further afield: to another country. The fact that a growing part of our coffee is produced by women does not mean that, as producers, they have the same opportunities and rights as men. The property titles for agricultural land are usually held by their husbands which is why many women have a harder time gaining access to loans, market information and other production resources.
As a result their opportunities for self-development and their income are more limited than those of their male colleagues. This is not a favourable situation for the economic return of the coffee chain.
As part of the ‘Next Generation Coffee’ cluster stand, Trias presented EDD19 visitors our Gender Transformative Approach. Trias, CLAC and other local partners have developed this unique approach towards gender equity on the organizational, enterprise & individual level, while also taking into account generational issues. Because only when all of society is involved and power dynamics are challenged, can lasting change occur.
At EDD19 we served visitors at our stand a tasty cup of coffee from El Salvador. This coffee was produced by coffee cooperative Los Pinos, one of the members of our partner CLAC, The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers. Some of these coffee cooperatives in El Salvador have already completed the 3-year gender transformative process as part of a pilot project. Trias is now rolling out this process in Guatemala and the Phillippines, and is looking for funding for projects Africa.
We were happy to welcome deputy prime minister, minister of Finance, and minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo at our booth at EDD19. Minister Decroo, who himself is a champion of gender equity, expressed his support for the work of Trias in the coffee value chain. He also saw possible linkages with regards to the cocoa value chain and the Beyond Chocolate initiative, in which Trias is also participating.
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen also expressed a particular interest in the inequalities that women involved in coffee production are facing. She highlighted the sustainability of Trias’ work, through our strong partnership with private actor CLAC and the empowerment of the organisations with regards to gender directly through their own structures.