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Saltwinds Coffee Company
Saltwinds Coffee Company
Made in the Maritimes
Woman with coffee bean plant

Celebrating Women’s Contributions in the World of Coffee

Throughout history, women have often been excluded from economic opportunities. Despite this, the coffee industry provided a unique space where women could assert their economic independence. As a result, in many coffee-growing countries, women participated in the trade to earn income for themselves and their families.

Coffee has been a path for women to break free from traditional gender roles and gain economic empowerment.

Cultivation and Farming

The journey of coffee begins on the farms, where the cultivation of coffee plants takes place. Additionally, women’s expertise and attention to detail were important in ensuring the quality and sustainability of coffee production.

Statistically, between 20% and 30% of coffee farms are female-operated and up to 70% of labour in coffee production is provided by women. 

Coffee Trading and Commerce

In many coffee-growing regions, women were responsible for overseeing the business aspects of coffee production. 

That being said, women have been involved in negotiating prices, trading coffee beans, and managing financial transactions. 

Even still, their leadership and entrepreneurship have helped establish connections between coffee-producing communities and global markets, while also, facilitating economic growth and development.

Processing and Quality Control

Coffee processing plays a critical role in determining the taste and quality of the final product. This means, women have been crucial in this stage, where they employ their expertise to oversee the careful sorting, washing, and drying of coffee beans. 

Moreover, women’s attention to detail and commitment to quality control ensure that only the best beans make it to the market. Therefore, enhancing the overall coffee experience for consumers worldwide.

Farm Management & Leadership

Not only do women contribute to the labor-intensive aspects of coffee production, but they also excel in farm management and entrepreneurship. 

Firstly, many women have taken charge of their coffee farms. More specifically, making important decisions regarding planting, processing methods, and resource allocation. Additionally, they have introduced sustainable practices, promoted organic farming, and fostered economic empowerment within their communities.

Lastly, through their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial abilities, they have transformed the coffee industry.

Leadership and Advocacy

In recent years, women have been increasingly taking on leadership roles and advocating for gender equality within the coffee industry. 

Similarly, it important to recognize organizations like the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) have been instrumental in empowering women by providing training, education, and networking opportunities. 

Moreover, women leaders have been working tirelessly to address gender inequalities by promoting inclusivity, and creating a more sustainable coffee industry. 

Subsequently, their efforts are not only transforming the industry but also inspiring future generations of women to pursue their passions in coffee.

The remarkable contributions of women in the coffee industry cannot be overstated. From the farms to the cup, women have been instrumental in every step of the coffee production chain. Equally as important, woman ensured the availability of high-quality coffee and improving the livelihoods of countless individuals.

Finally, let us take a moment to recognize and celebrate the valuable role that women continue to play in this remarkable industry.


Gender Equality in the Coffee Sector: An Insight Report from the International Coffee Organization.” International Coffee Organization (ICO). October 2018. 

What We Do. The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA). https://www.womenincoffee.org/what-we-do

Gottlieb, J. The indispensable role of women in coffee. newGround. August 2022.

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