we're closed anzac day

Today is International Coffee Day with the theme this year of Women in Coffee.

We asked our specialty coffee roasters Jasper Coffee and Market Lane to share with us a story or two of the coffee producing women they work with. Why don’t you grab a cup of your favourite brew and read on.

Market Lane Coffee and Buf Coffee, Rwanda

Boutique coffee roastery and retailer Market Lane Coffee has been working with Rwandan Buf Coffee – and founder Epiphanie Mukashyaka – since Market Lane opened their doors in 2009. In 1994, Epiphanie tragically lost her husband, a child and an entire hillside of extended family to the Rwandan genocide, that claimed nearly a million lives in 100 days. Widowed and grieving, Epiphanie was faced with the responsibility of caring for her seven surviving children and rebuilding their lives.

She turned to the coffee trees left behind by her husband, to find a way to survive as a farmer. It was after learning in 2000 how to gain better prices by improving the quality of her coffee, that she was inspired to encourage and train other local farmers to do the same. Today, Buf Cafe has improved the lives of countless smallholder coffee farmers and have played a transformational role in switching the focus in the Rwandan coffee sector from one of quantity to quality. In the wake of the devastating 1994 genocide and the 1990s world coffee crash, they have rebuilt the Rwandan coffee market. You can read more about Epiphanie’s story here.

Jasper Coffee and the Cafe Femenino Foundation, Peru

Specialty Coffee Roaster Jasper Coffee has been committed to ethical and fair trade coffee production since their business was established.  While they had been sourcing fairtrade beans from Peru for some years, in 2005 they began directly supporting the Peru-based Cafe Femenino Foundation.  The Foundation was established a year earlier to support women in remote coffee communities in Peru and other coffee producing countries in South America; women who had no voice, no control of the family resources, they were poor, uneducated and lived in isolation, all of which contributed to phenomenal rates of abuse.  You can read more about the Foundation here.

With the support from Jasper Coffee, the Femenino Foundation has been improving the lives of countless women and their families in coffee producing communities. Projects Jasper have supported include, raising funding for a new freshwater reservoir for Villages in Peru.  In 2014, Jasper Coffee funded another project to enable 2,400 children in schools to have fresh potable water. Most recently, Jasper Coffee helped fund the Casa Café Femenino in Caracha (pictured below); a centre that will provide the main gathering centre for producer meetings, women’s workshops, community celebrations and storage. There also is a greenhouse garden where they will be planting grains, vegetables, coffee plant starts and more.

Enjoy your coffee break and we’ll see you at the Market.

Women in Coffee

recommended articles