Rome wasn’t built in a day. Dough takes an hour to rise, novels take months to write – and whether you think the world was created in seven days, or that humans evolved over millions of years, good things take time!
Gender equity, not to mention gender equality, is definitely one of those things.
The London Society for Women’s Suffrage formed in 1867, but women didn’t get equal voting rights until 1928 in the UK – and there were a lot of fights to fight after that! But a step in the right direction is all that’s needed to kick things off, and that’s what is happening in Tello, Colombia right now.
Meet… the Asomuprisma Women’s Association
In Tello, Colombia, coffee farming is everything. With 99.7% of Tello used for farming, a large majority of that is specifically for growing coffee. It’s inescapable, and inevitable, that people in that area are going to be part of the coffee industry. Men, women and children.
But with women often being limited to labour roles, not owning land or running the show, the opportunities are limited. So a group of childhood friends decided to challenge that.
What started as a social group for women in coffee turned into something bigger, with the Asomuprisma Women’s Association recognised as a non-profit organisation in 2016 by the Chamber of Commerce in Nevia. Now their aim is to make women a larger part of the coffee industry.
How are they going to do it?
Attending trade fairs, training seminars, talks, and technical business visits, they’re putting it out there that women can be leaders in the coffee industry. But it’s not just for show – they’ve processed and sold their own coffee to the Coffee Growers’ Association, opened a cafe to showcase their beans and held events like the Labour Social for International Women’s Day, inviting 200 girls and women in coffee to come and take part.
It’s progress. But don’t get us wrong – this is not an overnight fix. Only a few of the women in Asomuprisma actually own their own farmland, with the majority being wives of local farmers. And as we saw on our visit to the community, decision-making is still often a patriarchal affair. But there is hope for the future.
By 2025, the Asomuprisma Women’s Association wants to be recognised internationally for their coffee and their work promoting gender equity in coffee. And we want to help them out with that, by selling their coffee and spreading the word.
Supporting women in coffee while enjoying notes of dark chocolate and candied fruit? It’s not a hard decision, is it!