10 years of IWCA - Brazil: women's strength in coffee

Celebrating 10 years of the brazilian chapter of the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA)

President of the IWCA-Brazil, Miriam Aguiar, speaking during the International Coffee Week (SIC) by Bruno LavoratoMuseu do Café

The International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is a non-profit organization created in 2003 as a result of a meeting between women in the coffee industry in the United States and coffee producers in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Map of the IWCA chapters by IWCAMuseu do Café

It is a global network present in 32 countries with a mission to recognize and encourage female participation in all areas of the coffee operations chain, empowering women through leadership development, strategic partnerships, and market visibility.

Signing of the Letter of Understanding considered the first step towards the formalization of the Brazilian chapter of the IWCA. (2012) by IWCAMuseu do Café

In 2012, after about two years of intense mobilization and volunteer work by women from different producing regions, the Brazilian chapter of the IWCA was created. The first elected president, Josiane Cotrim, tells us how this moment of creating the organization was.

Letter of Understanding (2012) by IWCAMuseu do Café

Chapters are independent and self-governing organizations responsible for defining their priorities and operating strategies, following the protocol of the global IWCA. However, in the case of Brazil, considering its large territorial size...

...with producing areas spread over several regions, it was necessary to create sub-chapters that acted locally for greater a connection and representativeness of these women. IWCA - Brazil currently has 10 sub-chapters.

IWCA - Brazil continued to maintain a presence at several coffee fairs and events, in addition to promoting the annual meeting of the members, strengthening the engagement and creating environments for the exchange of information and experiences. Furthermore, they sought important strategic partnerships with entities and companies such as UN Women, Sebrae, and 3 Corações, among others.

President of the IWCA-Brazil, Miriam Aguiar, speaking during the International Coffee Week (SIC) (2019) by IWCAMuseu do Café

Through these partnerships, technical training and qualifications were encouraged, focused mainly on small producers.

Training promoted by IWCA by Autor DesconhecidoMuseu do Café

These actions aimed to give these women greater autonomy and a greater knowledge about their own coffees, so that they understood basic information about sample preparation, classification, as well as the marketing procedures for the bean.

But a more precise action of the organization required the identification of who the coffee women were. Faced with a scarcity of statistical data, the IWCA sought to work together with researchers to produce, organize, and disseminate information in this regard, in order to obtain a clearer diagnosis of this female performance.

Cover of the book “Mulheres dos Cafés no Brasil” [Coffee Women in Brazil] (2017) by IWCA/EmbrapaMuseu do Café

This work, which combines research conducted in different regions of the country, resulted in the book Mulheres dos Cafés no Brasil [Coffee Women in Brazil].

Book Launch at SIC (2017) by Bruno LavoratoMuseu do Café

The influence of the Alliance can be seen in the increased awareness of the gender issue in companies, associations, cooperatives, and other institutions, with an increase in the number of initiatives and projects within this perspective.

Logo of the International Women's Coffee Alliance by IWCAMuseu do Café

Beyond that, it has empowered women and made possible connections that seemed impossible, as told by Miriam Aguiar, an organic coffee producer and current president of the IWCA, and Neide Peixoto, a specialty coffee producer, both from Campo das Vertentes/MG.

IWCA has also matured institutionally in these 10 years. The diversification of its members, now broader in the coffee operations chain, was accompanied by a greater interest in participating in the activities of the institution. This reflected in the expansion of its field of operation with the creation of new departments, such as, for example, Diversity and Inclusion, and Sustainability.

Credits: Story

Rodrigo Garcia
Governador do Estado
Sérgio Henrique Sá Leitão
Secretário de Cultura e Economia Criativa do Estado
Rogério Custódio de Oliveira
Secretário Executivo de Cultura e Economia Criativa do Estado
Frederico Mascarenhas
Chefe de Gabinete de Cultura e Economia Criativa do Estado
Alessandra de Almeida
Diretora Executiva
Thiago da Silva Santos
Diretor Administrativo
Caroline Feijó Nóbrega
Gerente de Comunicação e Desenvolvimento Institucional
Daniel Correa Ramos
Gerente Administrativo
Marcela Rezek Calixto
Coordenadora Técnica do Museu do Café
Bruno Bortoloto do Carmo
Pietro Marchesini Amorim

Bruno Bortoloto do Carmo

Equipe Técnica do Museu do Café


Miriam Monteiro Aguiar

Dandara Renault
Consultoria História Institucional

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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