International coffee day

Today, 1st October, we celebrate International Coffee Day, which this year is dedicated to women.

Promoted by ICOInternational Coffee Organization – the day aims to spread the culture of the most popular drink in the world, to encourage greater appreciation of it.

Although many countries have their own national day, such as May 24 for Brazil and September 29 for the United States, the member countries of the International Coffee Organization have designated a single day for coffee lovers to share their love of their favourite drink and at the same time, support millions of producers. Now in its fourth year, the initiative now embraces the 77 member states of the ICO and dozens of coffee associations around the world and includes special events, shows and even a photography contest.

This year, International Coffee Day is dedicated to ‘Women in Coffee’, in order to raise public awareness. It’s aim to help to overcome barriers, both gender and cultural, that are faced by workers in this sector. About 43% of the agricultural workforce (564 million workers), is female: workers, peasants and businesswomen play a crucial role in the coffee supply chain in countries such as Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia, India and Indonesia; from sowing, to processing, to trading. According to FAO data, 25-35% of coffee plantations are managed by women, but there is still discrimination against them when compared to men. Women often suffer from lower yields and incomes, due to restrictions on their access to land, credit, markets, technology, water, training and other services.

Rather than simply paying homage to women, International Coffee Day is a call for fairness and a reduction of the gender gap. It’s about achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals and the economic benefits, incumbent in greater welfare for rural communities and improved productivity. It’s all about increasing the industry’s ability to respond to the ever increasing demand for coffee.

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