Finding a Voice in Sumatra

In 2015, the women of the Kokowagayo co-op in Sumatra found their own voice.

Empowered to strive for gender equality, the women of the Kokowagayo cooperative separated their coffee from the men’s during the 2014 growing season and began the first women-only cooperative in Sumatra.

These women knew they would make better community-focused decisions than the men when deciding where to allocate the Fair Trade premiums. To further drive women-controlled funds to their families and communities, and to nurture space where women can share their ideas and wield exclusive decision-making power, the women of Kokowagayo started the Café Femenino Sumatra Program in 2015.

While women in Sumatra have always carried key roles in coffee production, they had been excluded from economic decision-making. By taking the bold step of creating their own women-only cooperative and joining Café Femenino, the women not only earn more money for their hard work, they also have the ability to decide where the money goes.

Since starting the Café Femenino Sumatra Program, the women have used their increasing resources to, among other things, offer leadership and financial training to women coffee farmers, set aside capital for women’s entrepreneurial efforts, and even build a community center above their wet mill to provide a safe space for women to congregate to learn new skills.

Learn more about the Café Femenino Program and the Café Femenino Foundation.

Their coffee is now available to the U.S. market through Café Femenino Coffee. Shop Now.

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