Taylors new limited edition coffee, Esperanza, is grown solely by female farmers – with a premium directly benefiting the farmers themselves.
In coffee, as with most agricultural commodities across the developing world, there’s a sizeable divide between the roles, responsibilities and earning potential of the sexes. According to a 2011 report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) women make up 43 per cent of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, and in some coffee-growing regions that rises to more than 80 per cent. The report reveals while women make crucial contributions – as farmers, workers and entrepreneurs – they face many obstacles and constraints, concluding that ‘achieving gender equality and empowering women isn’t only the right thing to do – it’s also crucial for agricultural development and food security.’
Esperanza is named after Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, the manager of a coffee, cocoa and honey co-operative in Pangoa, in Peru. The co-operative’s mission is to help the development of its members, their families and the surrounding communities, through efficient trade, education, technical assistance, credit schemes and management. In 1999 the co-operative established a women’s committee called CODEMU (Committee for Women’s Development), initially focusing on microfinance schemes and promoting female leadership. Today CODEMU has 60 members and is fully integrated into the co-operative’s structure. Our Limited Edition coffee is directly supporting CODEMU, with a premium (in addition to the Fairtrade premium) going straight to the committee for interest-free microloans for women’s healthcare.
In addition our Esperanza coffee, many of our supply chain community and livelihood projects support capacity building and livelihoods of women.