Empowering Women Coffee Farmers in Colombia Through Inclusive Business
Supracafé, a Spanish coffee company, has joined Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to empower women in Colombia by training 400 female coffee farmers in effective cultivation techniques by 2022. It also pledges to support female coffee producers in preparing 200 hectares of land to grow organic coffee using sustainable and fair trade techniques, resulting in increased production and income for the farmers.
Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Established in 1990, Supracafé specialises in the import, processing and marketing of high quality coffee. It produces more than 20 different Arabica varieties, which are sold to coffee retailers in the hotel industry and specialty stores. It is the only Spanish coffee company that grows coffee on its own farm in Colombia and carries out all its agricultural processes there. Since its inception, the company has directly sourced beans from female coffee growers in Colombia, while strengthening their technical capabilities and innovation in the production of high quality coffee.
In addition to the above commitments, Supracafé will also integrate 200 new organic coffee producers into its existing value chain by 2022. Not only will these commitments improve lives at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP), by broadening the company’s base of suppliers trained in the latest innovative coffee cultivation techniques, it will result in greater farming yields and improved coffee quality for the company.
“As productivity rises, business in general will also increase, and the company will have more resources to scale up its activities. From this initiative, we intend to scale up Supracafe´s supplier base, initially in the same regions of Colombia, with the purpose of increasing sales to other markets such us Europe and Asia,” said Supracafé CEO Ricardo Oteros.
Supracafé has been recognized for its commitment and efforts to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the communities from which it buys its coffee. It is recognized by Fairtrade Iberica, which guarantees customers and suppliers an operation based on fair trade processes for the Arabica coffee produced by AMUCC (Women Coffee Growers Association) . This certification guarantees that the company’s agricultural processes are both sustainable and responsible, and are subject to strict social and environmental standards. Furthermore, Supracafé leads the first Technological Park for coffee, which works on innovations to improve the coffee production process for women coffee farmers at the BoP. Supracafé is also recognized by a Spanish Government initiative, Invest Spain, for its positive social and environmental impact and contribution to poverty reduction. Supracafé is also a member of CAFÉ MUNDI, which seeks to improve the living conditions of coffee communities by improving infrastructure and working to reduce poverty in these areas; the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, committed to making coffee the world’s first fully sustainable agricultural product; as well as the United Nations Global Compact.
“Supracafé is setting a good example for other agricultural producers by showing that it is possible to grow quality, fair trade coffee in a way that is also helping to improve the economic stability of the farmers it sources from, particularly women. They are leading the way in demonstrating that profitability can go hand in hand with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said BCtA Programme Manager Paula Pelaez.
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BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Supracafe: Supracafe was established in 1990 as a company specializing in the import, processing and marketing of high quality coffee that currently produces more than 20 different Arabica varieties, which are sold to in the hotel industry and specialty stores. The company has a subsidiary in Colombia that operates the farmland and export of coffee beans to be processed in Spain and subsequently exported to various countries. Supracafe is a member and has the seal of CAFÉ MUNDI, which seeks to improve the living conditions of coffee communities through the creation of infrastructure and mechanisms to help combat poverty.