Specialty green coffee traders, sourcing from 26 origins on behalf of over 1000 roasters.

Date

Bean Voyage Female Producer Empowerment, Costa Rica
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ESG(s): Social, economic, environmental

Origin/locations: Costa Rica, Mexico

Timeline: 2020 ongoing

People: 170 producers

Gender: 100% female

Established in 2014 by Sunghee Tark and Abhinav Khanal , Bean Voyage is a feminist, non-profit enterprise whose mission is to eradicate the gender pay gap in farming communities across all 8 coffee growing regions of Costa Rica. They aim to do this through providing improved access to education, markets, political engagement and health and well being for smallholder women coffee farmers. Their goal is to dissolve the historical gender gap in 2500 communites across Costa Rica, and eventually support 100, 000 women and thier families globally by 2030. Falcon begun working with Bean Voyage in 2020 through a desire to raise awareness around female empowerment in growing communites through purchasing and showcasing the work of female producers, but also to contribute to the goal of finding more benefical markets for sustainably produced and fairly priced microlots.

Bean Voyage have created women-only discussion groups to provide safe spaces through which farmers can create communities and build confidence through sharing ideas and experience. They also provide regular in-person and online training which aims to support and track the progress of their farmers’ education. Included in their curriculum is a large focus on environmental awareness, conservation, and the preservation of biodiversity, in keeping with the important cultural philosophy of good ecological governance in Costa Rica, as well as ensuring engagement with the risks of climate change. In addition to this, each farmer Bean Voyage works with receives a minimum of 80 hours of training on 5 modules – farm finance, production, processing, quality analysis and gender/community. The women-only spaces set up by Bean Voyage now successfully operates in all coffee producing regions of Costa Rica.

Falcon has been able to provide additional support by participating in the education programme, giving the farmers the opportunity to engage with and discuss how importers, as well as roasters, can collaborate with them.

In 2022

· First ever Womxn-POWERed Coffee Summit hosted, promoting gender equity in coffee supply chains. This event included 134 participants made up of 22 volunteers, including students from the University of Costa Rica, 8 dignitaries including government officials from the agricultural and trade sectors, 17 buyers and roasters, and – most importantly the 87 women coffee producers from 8 producing regions including Tarrazu, Valle Central and Valle Occidental at the centre of this story.

· Producer network extended to Veracruz, Mexico with a further 50 women producers supported. Working with the producers, Bean Voyage organised a ‘market readiness’ program including a series of consultations on harvest and post-harvest practices that farmers can

implement to drive quality uplift, aiming to fetch higher prices on the international market. Falcon has exclusive access to this small selection of micro lot coffees.

· A total of 170 female producers supported across 2 origins.

· A 300% increase in income due to uplift in quality is reported by farming families since partnering with Bean Voyage, as well as improved access to better markets and supply chains.

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