Women's History Month
Mar 17, 2023
Here at Desert Sun, we believe in doing the right thing and that means supporting women in the coffee industry. So we wanted to take the time to recognize that March is Women’s History Month. As member-owners of Cooperative Coffees, we are able to buy green coffee directly from women producers to make sure that they receive fair payment for their exceptional coffee. The majority of our small-scale farmer coops have women members and there are several that are run by women as well. Below you will find more information about three of our women-owned producers.
- La Central Cooperativa Las Diosas (The Goddesses) – The Goddesses are a dynamic network of community-based cooperatives run by women and supporting true development and respect for women’s rights. The cooperative is located east of Managua in the department of Esteli where much of the land is devoted to tobacco production and largely controlled by male producers. Las Diosas consists of four smaller cooperatives, each managed by its own Directiva (female Board of Directors). Fiercely independent and determined to succeed in the coffee industry, the 250-member cooperative has made much progress since its founding in 1996, both in terms of sustainable commercial relations for its coffee sales as well as the promotion of issues such as women’s education, housing, and health.”
- Fatima Mercedes Maradiaga– “Since I was a little girl, I aspired to own my own farm, having come from a family of coffee producers. My greatest source of inspiration was my mother, who took great pleasure from the work conducted on the farm, from planting to harvesting and processing. In 2007 I started working on my own farm. This work has allowed me to share my knowledge and gain new experiences along with my husband. Together we have been learning how to develop best practices on the farm. In COMSA I have learned about the different biotechnologies, and how to develop micro-organisms and nutrient-rich soil amendments. I have also learned how to oversee processing in order to maximize the quality potential of my coffee. The lesson I've learned is that in order to obtain quality, we must fill ourselves with patience, and above all, enjoy all the activities involved, all the while maintaining a vision that the farm is the family's patrimony, and we must care for it and its product, for the good of our children and grandchildren.”
- Miriam “Betty” Perez runs her family farm. She is “a third-generation coffee farmer who has been producing coffee now for over 20 years. She is a local leader in the Marcala community and within the COMSA organization. She has also become an outspoken advocate of gender equality and fair trade in the coffee industry. ‘Today, I remain an organic coffee producer. Our vision is to have coffee production be the inheritance of our four children, and to instill on them the same vision and values of cultivating coffee in harmony with nature.’ -Betty”
These are just three stories of how women are making an impact in the world of coffee and we hope that you will join us in supporting their efforts. They are leaders in carbon sequestration and strong defenders of sustainable, organic methods in an industry that is just focused on production and profit. By building lasting relationships with them we are not only able to continually source the best possible coffee, but we are also able to understand the challenges our female farmers are facing and help them overcome these obstacles.
After hearing about these amazing women you might be wondering how you can better support them. While it might be difficult to get a one-on-one connection with them, know that when you buy from Desert you are supporting them!
How To Support Women in the Coffee Industry:
Throughout the month of March, we will be releasing some coffees produced by these women. You can subscribe to our newsletters so you don't miss them! You can find our current selection at desertsuncoffee.com.