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The W+ Standard Featured in the Coffee Quality Institute's Guide on Accelerating Gender Equity in Coffee Value Chains

An estimated 25 million smallholder coffee farmers produce 80 percent of the world’s coffee. Women do much of the work on smallholder coffee farms, including key cultivation and processing activities that affect coffee yields and quality. In addition to the millions of women members of coffee-farming households, an increasing number of single women heads of household depend on coffee farming for their families’ livelihoods. Despite their contributions, women are often excluded from decision-making processes and enjoy less access to resources, including land, credit, agricultural inputs, training, information, and leadership opportunities. Although they may not intentionally exclude women, development efforts and business practices often do not take into account their unique needs and perspectives. Given the critical sustainability issues facing coffee farming today – including climate change, plant disease, and an aging farmer population – the capabilities of women producers need to be more fully engaged and rewarded. While some efforts have been made within the coffee industry to address gender equity and women’s empowerment, they are not widespread and systemic. Much more can be done by adapting existing policies, practices, and projects to become more gender aware and equitable, and by investing in programs to improve gender equity. Businesses need encouragement and guidance on how to take action.
The objective of this guide is to better understand gender inequity in coffee production and its impact on outcomes; to communicate findings; to develop recommendations for action; and to spur interventions and changes to policies and practices across the industry.The W+ Standard is featured as an innovative tool to incentivize investments in programs that reduce time pressures on women.

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