Twin traded its first lot of coffee grown by women in 2005, from Abakundakawa, Rwanda to a US buyer, and since then has continued to explore opportunities for marketing coffee from existing women’s groups or selected women farmers to markets in the US, Europe and Japan.

In recent years, marketing coffee grown by women has become an integral part of Twin’s gender justice approach. Twin works to develop the supply of high quality coffee grown by women and to stimulate market demand. Together with producer organisations, it supports women farmers to reinvest the women’s coffee premium in initiatives which leverage impact, such as microcredit schemes and group business activities.

For buyers and end consumers, coffee grown by women creates opportunities to engage more directly with women farmers and contribute to greater gender equity and women’s empowerment within households, communities and producer organisations.

Twin’s approach to coffee grown by women is underpinned by some guiding principles:

  • Developing and marketing coffee grown by women is a strategic tool which can and should:

-Increase women’s control over coffee income
-Support women-led groups and initiatives
-Promote women’s land ownership and membership of producer organisations

  • Coffee grown by women is always traceable to women farmers and women farmers make decisions about how the premium will be invested
  • Twin only develops women’s coffee with a producer organisation which has wider commitment to gender justice, and where it is considered that it would be of strategic value to do so.

Twin also works with Household Methodologies which support processes of change within families towards greater gender equity. This promotes the equitable sharing of assets, joint visioning and planning, joint decision-making and shared control over income. In this context, women who have developed visions and plans can capitalize on the opportunities offered by selling coffee directly, and men are more deeply convinced of the value of sharing land with their wives and of supporting their right to access and control income.

If you are interested in finding out more about coffee grown by women or would like some samples, please contact the trading team on tradingmarketing@twin.org.uk.