“Study after study has confirmed that there is no development strategy more beneficial to society as a whole—women and men alike— than one which involves women as central players. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality or improve nutrition and promote health. When women are fully involved, the benefits can be seen immediately: families are healthier; they are better fed; their income, savings and reinvestment go up. And what is true of families is true of communities and, eventually, whole countries.”– Kofi Annan (1938-2018)
We wanted to share a bit about the very first coffee we fell in love with at COROCO — our Hi Hope™ Honduras, a single-origin coffee that is fair trade and all-female produced. Coffee is a fundamental product for the Honduran economy not only because it is the country’s main export field, but because of its ability to distribute wealth directly to many coffee-producing families. We believe that workers along the coffee supply chain deserve fair wages and to live dignified lives. With the unstable C-market, and green coffee trading at around a dollar a pound, specialty coffee roasters have a responsibility to help support the workers along the supply chain. Our Hi Hope™ Coffee brand’s mission is to seek out amazing coffees that support community growth, pay premiums above the C-market, and bring out the notes of the origin in our roast profile.
This particular cooperative, Cooperativa Raos, (Regional de Agrícultores Orgánicos de la Sierra) has been a producer partner of our importer, Cafe Imports, since 2015, and in addition to sourcing bulked coffees from its core membership of 270 farmers, they source lots from 77 women coffee producers who are active members. These coffees from the 77 women are the ones we use in our Hi Hope™ Honduras coffee.
RAOS’s leadership is determined to increase gender equity among its members, specifically with regards to legal complications related to gender-based restrictions on owning farmland, as well as the greater degree of difficulty women often face in securing credit and financing before the harvest. Cooperativa RAOS holds regular gender assemblies to discuss the women’s needs as well as to ensure their voices are heard and considered, and the organization also holds educational workshops for its members that are open to all.
The women of Cooperativa RAOS grow a combination of Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, IHCAFE 90, Pacas, and Typica.