International Coffee Day is dedicated this year to celebrating “Women in Coffee” and highlighting the need for their equality. Women represent almost half the workers at all levels in the supply chain. illy joins the initiative to show the world how important it is to give value to their work.
illycaffè, the Ernesto Illy Foundation and Università del Caffè also support the only master’s course in the world dedicated to Coffee Economics and Science. From 2011 to 2018, dozens of women have attended the course, 42 with the help of grants offered by the Ernesto Illy Foundation.
illy actively supports women growers with the production of high quality Arabica coffee. For example, in the region of Cauca, Colombia illy bought coffee from 19 out of over 40 associations of women producers in the area in 2017, benefiting 520 women out of a total 2,300.
illy has always been committed to training workers in the coffee industry, throughout areas of the supply chain. Thousands of women have been trained over the years and in 2017 alone, out of 680 course participants, 244 were women. Over 40% of course members were women on the quality training program developed in Africa including: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. In the same year in Brazil, over 75% of online course participants were women. While in Colombia, 1 out of 4 courses organized in coordination with SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje), A Colombian national vocational training agency, were dedicated exclusively to women.
illy has also been a driving force behind international projects dedicated to women in coffee, to tell the world their story and promote their rights: illy produced the 2014 docu-film A Small Section Of The World tells the story of the women of ASOMOBI, an association of women coffee producers in Costa Rica, underscoring how in the 17 years since an economic crisis, women have become a fundamental part of coffee culture and each individual process. illy and the Ernesto illy Foundation organized The Women in the World of Coffee seminars in 2014 and 2015 with the aim of bringing together women from different coffee producing companies all over the world and supporting the idea that women can drive cultural change towards more practical sustainability.