Two well-known coffee roasters have signed up to sell coffee bearing a unique certification seal – ‘Harvested by Women’ – and more are expected to be on the way soon. As highlighted briefly in the May 2013 issue of C&CI, Almana Harvest, an organisation working with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) to benefit women in the world of coffee by promoting and protecting ‘gender diverse’ trade, recently launched a certification scheme for coffee grown by women.
Almana Harvest is working with the IWCA to ‘harvest’ fees and contributions from a selected network of socially responsible coffee suppliers and customers that will result in direct support for women in the world of coffee at countries of origin. Its intention is to promote coffee grown by women, and help them provide a better, more secure, more sustainable future for their families. To do so, Almana Harvest is promoting a new brand, and is seeking to build consumer awareness and demand. The coffees are grown by farmers belonging to the IWCA country producing chapters.
The ‘Harvested by Women’ certification programme has been launched in association with Boyd Coffee Company and S&D Coffee & Tea, at the retail and wholesale level. Boyd Coffee Company said it was “proud to be the first coffee roaster in the US committed to purchasing the Harvested by Women certified coffee.” It will sell ‘Café Libre,’ a Costa Rican single-origin coffee, in select grocery stores, such as New Seasons Market, as well as on its website and in select foodservice accounts. A 25-cent donation from each retail package of Café Libre goes directly to non-profit organizations in coffee-producing countries, in addition to an initial donation made at the time of purchasing the bulk green coffee beans.
“As a family-owned coffee company, we stand behind a coffee certification that is empowering women to create a more sustainable future for their families,” said Katy Boyd Dutt, who first learned about the new certification programme at the IWCA conference in Guatemala at the end of 2013. “The pioneering spirit has been in our blood since 1900,” said Mrs Dutt.
“We were the first certified roaster to sell organically grown coffee in 1990 and the first US roaster to import Rainforest Alliance certified coffee in 1999. The Harvested by Women certification allows women to reinvest in their communities, and that is an economic incentive we can stand behind.”
In addition to prestigious companies such as Boyd Coffee Company and S&D Coffee & Tea a number of new IWCA chapters have enrolled in the programme for certified supply, including those in Honduras, Brazil, Colombia, and Costa Rica, and more roasters are said to be planning to sell coffee with the ‘Harvested by Women’ certification.
For more information see the forthcoming March 2014 issue of Coffee & Cocoa International