Peru Café FemeninoBack to Producer Profiles
Penachi Fairtrade Coop
The Café Femenino Story – Why the women of Penachi Fairtrade Cooperative are rejoicing !
In a World First, this coffee from the Penachi region in Peru is owned and produced by Women.
Despite numerous advances in many parts of the world, the marginalisation and oppression of women still occurs everywhere, especially in areas of extreme poverty. In rural communities of Peru, the isolation results in a very high abuse rate.
Now, in addition to the Fairtrade and Organic Premiums being paid, the Café Femenino Levy allows these women coffee growers to realise their dreams and their quest for equality and independence.
Women are rushing to join the successful Café Femenino project. Their numbers have grown exponentially. From a humble beginning with just 34 women members, they now have over 7,000 across Latin America.
For these Women, this is a business venture that is dynamically breaking the cycle of abuse and poverty by providing direct income to the women, their families, and raising their self-esteem.
For the first time in history, to join this cooperative and be part of the project, women must own the land, thereby owning the coffee trees and the sales of cherry can then be used to provide for their families.
They participate in all farm activities and prepare the terrain, nurseries and compost. They prepare bio fertilisers as part of the organic certification, do the harvesting, de-pulping, fermenting and drying the coffee. The men share this workload and develop new found respect for their wives.
Using Café Femenino Levies, the Café Femenino Foundation is now working with the women on many projects of their own choosing.
One great life changing project was the Simple New Kitchens to Improve Women’s Health.
Traditionally, the women cooked all the meals on an open fire outside the house, on ground level, and the resulting smoke inhalation caused significant respiratory problems among women. The bending down to ground level to cook meals caused endemic back problems.
Fairtrade and Café Femenino money has now been used to design internal fireplaces, complete with oven, at an accessible height, complete with chimneys to remove the smoke from their immediate environment. The design of the firebox has reduced fuel consumption by 40%.
Now that’s Cooking with Café Fems!
Leadership – Women with Hope, Purpose & a Plan for the Future
Social Change rarely happens as quickly as this. Yet three years into the project and the Café Femenino’s are proudly developing leadership skills, simple business plans, training materials, and flourishing in their new friendship with their far flung co-op members. They have moved from a position of hopelessness to a life of home, purpose and plan. The most astonishing change has been in the men, who are verbalizing their support of the women and have begun to value their wives.
Seeding & Breeding for Well-being & Wealth
Coffee is harvested once a year and is often the only cash crop for many farmers. Even with the 2 staged payments, cash flow is tight. There are long lean months where food is scarce and money even scarcer. The introduction of the seed program means the community can diversify their crops developing an income stream that spans multiple seasons. Excess produce can be sold and traded for needed goods and services and a varied diet is improving nutritional health. Likewise breeding goats, chicken and guinea pigs, leads to a diet rich in protein and provides an additional source of income for the women.
Maria Sabino Hernandez Queva
President of the Café Femenino Coffee Coop and Grower
…“I tell the women they must use their intelligence and choose the right times to talk to their husbands about Café Femenino. God didn’t create women to be less equal. Women feel happy about Café Femenino, they sell their coffee separately and the men are pleased to see the women get more money. Many years ago women were abused and had no protection. It has changed, because we can protect and defend ourselves. We women decide how we are going to spend our money”.
With this sweet smooth coffee in our cup, Jasper Coffee is helping these proud women to have more money to spend.