IWCA at Work
Since 2003 IWCA has been very busy working to raise the status of women in coffee throughout the world. Beyond our annual networking breakfasts, we also host an annual lunch at the NCA Spring Conference, fund international grants for projects at origin, and host international conferences.
IWCA Participates in the II World Forum for Local Economic Development
On October 30, 2013, IWCA Vice President Phyllis Johnson represented IWCA at the The II World Forum for Local Economic Development, which took place in Foz do Iquaçu, Parana State, Brazil. More than 4,000 participants representing 60 countries came to learn and share best practices on how to expand LED (Local Economic Development) in their countries. The main objective of the II World Forum was to advance the relation between the concept of territorial approach to development, the decentralization and deconcentration policies at national level, and the specific tools for integrating the three dimensions of Sustainable Human Development (SHD).
Phyllis Johnson took part in the October 30th panel discussions that provided examples of organizations showcasing their work on including women in the LED equation. Phyllis provided insight on IWCA’s work and the progress made by its chapter networks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She further explained how empowered women can be leaders that help build more stable local economies through a value system that involves community.
The panel also included:
- Ines Mendoza - International Cooperative Association, ACI Americas
- Moema Vieezer - Itaipu Binacional, Brazil
- Julis Esponosa Farjardo - Pablo de Olavide University, Sevilla, Spain
- Carmen de la Cruz - UNDP Gender Regional Practice Team Leader
To read more visit the World Forum for Local Economic Development website.
IWCA Case Study Presented to Harvard Business School
The students shared their analysis and recommendations on the topic, debating pros and cons and offering detailed solutions to solving the problem. IWCA representatives offered their perspective to the students based on their roles across the global supply chain. They also shared further insight about the organization and its global 15 chapter network in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Students were pleased to gain the perspective from IWCA representatives and learn more about our work.
IWCA was represented by:
Desiree Logsdon - IWCA President/VP of Marketing, Bunn-O-Matic Corp.
Sharon Riechers - IWCA CFO/Director of Governance, Risk & Compliance Bunn-O-Matic Corp.
Margaret Swallow - IWCA Co-Founder/Independent Consultant
Empowering Women Coffee Producers in East Africa
Prospects for African women coffee producers were given a boost on May 6, 2013 as two African chapters of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) were launched at a reception hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) at the Palais des Nations. The reception marked the end of the first day of the meeting of ITC’s Joint Advisory Group.
The addition of Rwanda and Tanzania to IWCA means that ITC has assisted the establishment of five IWCA chapters since 2010. The other chapters set up with ITC assistance were in Burundi, Kenya and Uganda. In addition, a chapter of IWCA is to be launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo later this month.
In the run-up to the launch of the project, which has been funded by UK Aid, it was revealed that in some countries women are not paid at all for the coffee they produce. This triggered ITC to back the work of IWCA to ensure that more women make money from the coffee that they produce, and as such make certain that these women are included in the regional and global value chains. This decision was further strengthened by research showing that women reinvest 90% of their earnings in their family compared to men – and in health and education in particular.
In addition, women from 12 countries received training that helped several to engage with buyers under the
Intermediary steps taken to ensure sustainability included the development of women’s coffee associations (IWCA-chapters), the promotion of women produced coffee with buyers and research into branding women’s coffee, the establishment of a leadership and mentoring programme to boost women’s self-confidence, and the examination of options for saving schemes for women.
View the ITC Geneva Presentation.
Watch our IWCA leaders talk about the experience: