Unicafec is a small, close knit producer association in San Ignacio, in the North of Peru. Established in 2001 with just 106 farmers, they now have 407 members of which 107 are women.
Unicafec has been selling women’s coffee through Twin since 2011; its primary customer to date has been Equal Exchange UK, who have also invested additional funds in support programmes for the Unicafec women’s committee, for example funding GALS training and a recent exchange visit for the committee to CAC Pangoa. Unicafec also has a long-standing association with Café Femenino.
More recently, Unicafec have been selling coffee grown by women to Sackeus for their Women’s Rights brand. Sackeus feel this product is helping them to respond to a growing demand in Sweden for sustainable coffee in general and for coffee grown by women. They are exploring different ways to market the coffee, for example in connection with International Women’s Day.
Unicafec’s women’s committee are responsible for deciding how the premium from coffee grown by women would be invested. For a number of years, they built up a fund from the premium on all women’s coffee sales and used it to improve their kitchens and bathrooms, as many were cooking in smoke-filled rooms which affected their health. This year, they have decided to use the premium to set up a revolving fund so that women can access small loans, many of them for the first time.
Members of the women’s committee are using Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS) tools to support them to hold conversations with their families about the distribution of domestic work and the importance of women being able to attend training and other activities outside the home.
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