ICO to celebrate Women in Coffee on International Coffee Day

The International Coffee Organisation (ICO) has announced it will celebrate ‘Women in Coffee’ as the theme for International Coffee Day on 1 October.

International Coffee Day is a global commemoration of coffee’s journey from the farm to local shop. 

This year’s theme has been set to celebrate women’s achievements in the industry and further encourage the wider participation of women in all aspects of the coffee value chain.

“It is in all our interests to empower women in the international coffee community. We look forward to working with our members and partners to help make this happen,” says José Sette, Executive Director of the ICO. 

According to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, women represent 43 per cent of the labour force in agriculture, playing important roles as farmers, labourers and entrepreneurs. Recent studies suggest that globally 25 to 35 per cent of coffee farms are in fact run by women.

The ICO says women working in coffee face even greater barriers than their male counterparts. Female coffee producers have lower yields and lower income than their male peers, as a result of less access to land ownership, credit, markets, technology, seeds, water, information and education and other services. Such constraints are often due to gender norms and cultural barriers.

Closing this gender gap in agriculture, including coffee production, will not only contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality, but also bring with it wider economic benefits, improved welfare for rural communities as well as higher productivity to help to meet the growing demand for coffee.

“Clearly there is a need for better public policies and provision of services to help overcome the barriers women face across the coffee farming community,” José says.

The ICO is the main intergovernmental organisation for coffee, bringing together importing and exporting Governments and the private sector from across the world, to support the development of policies which strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion for the betterment of all participants.

For more information, visit www.ico.org 
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