No 23

Global Leaders Praise Café de Colombia’s Work on Gender Equity

November, 2015


Global Leaders Praise Café de Colombia’s Work on Gender Equity

Representatives of international organizations such as IWCA, the OIC and UN Women recognize the great progress of the Colombian coffee sector in this matter. 

The 8th edition of the international specialty coffee expo, ExpoEspeciales Café de Colombia 2015, which took place from October 15 to 18, hosted the IV Convention of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA), a forum that helps highlight and strengthen the role of women in the global coffee industry from seed to cup.

And within the framework of this important forum, representatives of international organizations such as the IWCA itself, the International Coffee Organization (ICO), UN Women and the International Trade Centre (ITC) praised the work of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and Café de Colombia in matters of gender equity and access to markets.

Mery Santos, president of the IWCA, acknowledged that it was thanks to the FNC’s work on gender equity that the decision to choose Colombia as the venue of the Convention was made. “Colombia has done a tremendous work to encourage gender equity in the coffee sector. What is being achieved here, with many initiatives, sets an example for the world,” Santos said.

Luiza Carvalho, UN Women’s Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean, highlighted not only the progress of the Colombian coffee sector on gender equity, but as a model for other sectors and countries.

“What happens here in Colombia, with this very strong encouragement to women’s greater participation in the coffee sector, is exactly what we want with a view to 2030, when we envisage a 50-50 planet,” Carvalho said. “What happens here, with women’s production capacity in the coffee sector, illustrates that it is possible to move forward, and we want to advance so in other sectors.”

Also the ICO Executive Director, Robério Oliveira, highlighted the FNC’s work on gender equity and generational replacement. “As we have seen in this event, the work on gender equity has been amazing. And another aspect that Colombia is beginning to work on is generational replacement in the coffee industry. We have to create conditions so that young people return to coffee production,” he said.

Aïcha Pouye, ITC’s Director of the Division of Business and Institutional Support, recognized that the progress of Colombia’s coffee sector exports, thanks to the institutional work of the FNC, can serve as a model to be replicated in other countries.

“The ITC has a global mandate to serve exporters from developing countries and we partner with local institutions to reach much more exporters. In that regard, the partnership with IWCA and the FNC has been great, because we have been able to use the model of Colombia and replicate it in Africa. We are very proud of the coffee business model and would like to multiply it through other sectors, continents and countries,” she said.

“The FNC has been an excellent partner for Colombia and we want to witness this work and use this type of international audiences to share best practices,” she added.


Because of the large number of visitors every year, its high-level academic agenda, with relevant topics for the industry (from seed to cup), a varied trade show and the high level of business networking, ExpoEspeciales Café de Colombia has become the most important specialty coffee expo in Colombia, Latin American and the Caribbean.

The Expo is organized by the FNC as part of its quality, differentiation and added value strategy to promote and showcase highest-quality coffees from the country’s different regions and develop business opportunities for the benefit of Colombian farmers.

This type of public recognitions by global leaders on Café de Colombia’s gender equity progress confirm the serious work and the efforts of farmers to strengthen the renown of Colombian coffee not only as a bean of the highest quality, but through clear policies that contribute to sustainability of the coffee sector and the entire value chain, in which women are key players.


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