Working together, for a better future.

Working together, for a better future.

Brown Bag Coffee is committed to coffee excellence.  Many times this means our beans are sourced with either Fair Trade Organic or Rain Forest Alliance certifications.  We also only purchase specialty grade coffees that cup in the 80's or higher according to SCA standards.  However, there are times where we take a stand and help support a cause that is close to us.  Such is the case with our Colombian coffee.  We are proud to support the Las Rosas Women's Group Project in La Plata, Huila, Colombia.

Why this Project is so Important?

Overwhelmed by a lack of credit available in 2010, an initial group of 50 women came together to change the way they were being treated as it was weakening their families and future potential to lead a better and more productive life.

What is the Project?

The project focuses on coffee production improvement projects.  Initially, the group started by planting 2,500 coffee trees and installing parabolic drying tables.

The mission of the project is centered on family prosperity and generational renewal.  The project focuses on food security, economic stability, entrepreneurship and passing on coffee traditions to younger generations.

Coffee production is used as the vehicle to drive important change and development.  By prioritizing gender equality and inclusive decision-making in households and on farms, the group is able to receive credit and ownership.  This empowers other women to join to the group and allows for many of the existing women in the group to take on leadership positions as cooperative members regardless of their status on the farm.

How does it benefit those farmers?

Lead through funding by the FNC, psychologists were brought into the community for a period of 3 years to be able to convince the husbands that their wives deserved equal rights and the right to own land and capital.
One of the producers informed the team that she will go back to the coffee tree as many as 8 times, picking the coffee cherry at the proper time to achieve a high level of quality. These practices learned from technical assistance the program provides.
The program supports teaching producers best practices for wet milling and pulping of the coffee to ensure a high quality end product.

Part of the incentive of the project is giving each producer a small amount of discretionary funds.  As an example some will purchase a mobile phone to be able to call the purchasing point to find out the daily published price of coffee.  Others will buy new clothing for themselves and their family.
Today, Las Rosas is a group of 350 strong women with 50 women in leadership positions, all working as a team on coffee production improvement projects.




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