Everyone at Trees Organic is excited that our recent fundraiser with Cafe Femenino Bolivian coffee raised $800 in one day for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. It’s a big success for a great organization. The DEWC helps more than 300 local women each day.
Vancouverites, please give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done in helping make our community a better place. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Introducing Cafe Femenino Coffee from Mexico and Guatemala
Here’s the thing: our fundraiser was so successful that we sold out of all of our Bolivian Femenino coffee beans! They’re all gone. But not to worry. We just got a shipment in of Cafe Femenino beans from Mexico and Guatemala and we’ve already started roasting them.
- The Mexican beans have a dark to medium body complemented by a dry chocolate flavour. We use these beans for espresso.
- The Guatemalan beans balance their acidity and body with a spicy, smoky flavour that you won’t soon forget!
Our Continuing Commitment to Fair-Trade Organic Coffee
We don’t just purchase these coffee beans because they taste great. There’s a story behind Cafe Femenino that ties into our motivation for starting this cafe in the first place; to be a different kind of cafe that promotes fair trade, organic practices that are good for everyone from the coffee farmers to our customers.
Cafe Femenino cooperatives help women take control of their own destinies and in turn promote the sustainable development of their communities where they live. Connie Kolosvary of Cafe Femenino explains how the concept began in Peru in 2003 with the women of a small coffee cooperative:
An NGO (non-governmental agency) working in the area at that time had been doing trainings for the men and saw that women were actually doing the bulk of the work. They realized that the women were being exploited in a number of ways and held almost no value inside of their communities. At that point the female cooperative members took it upon themselves to separate their coffee. Once this decision was made, the lives of these women began to change. With the Café Femenino Program model, not only do they receive an additional premium for their coffee, but the women producers are paid directly by the cooperative, not their husbands. For an overwhelming majority of the women in the program, it would be the very first time in their lives they’ve had control of money. As these women shift roles from farmers to businesswomen, a shift also occurs in the way women are seen and valued in their homes and communities.
When the women are empowered, positive change happens. For instance, in Pasac, Cafe Femenino farmers have completed a community library and learning centre. This new library gives local children the resources to study, learn and ultimately pass examinations so they can go on to higher education and opportunities in life — opportunities that were previously out of their reach. The success of the Cafe Femenino program has also attracted attention of other donors who see what is possible; a Finland-based NGO discovered the Cafe Femenino cooperative and helped them obtain a roaster to produce their own roasted coffee for local markets. This has helped put the cooperative’s members on an even more sustainable footing. This model has been repeated time after time, in Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico and elsewhere, showing that amazing progress is possible by switching to a fair trade model.
Thank you for continuing to support our cafes and fair-trade organic coffee farmers
We’re proud to be a part of the Cafe Femenino network. As a customer, you can feel great that every time you purchase a cup of Cafe Femenino coffee or a bag of beans from one of our cafes, you’re continuing to help make our world a better place.