KENYA – Kapkiyai FCS AA – Women’s coffee project
In 2018, women launched the first women-only certified fair trade coffee in the region; an initiative that we as Vava Coffee were honored to be a part of.
Kapkiyai held a special general meeting to discuss in council the proposals made by Coffee Initiative business consultants. At the meeting, which was composed of both cooperative board members and farmers, the “Kapkiyai Women in Coffee Resolution” was passed to guarantee women the right to become full members of the cooperative. Following this resolution, a number of husbands donated a segment of their trees to their wives. Today, 106 of Kapkiyai Farmers Cooperative Society’s 398 members are women. The women produced 55,000 kilograms of the total 200,114 coffee drupes, a significant contribution that enabled the purchase of a new eco-pulper, a stripping machine that processes 1,500 kilograms of coffee drupes per hour.
“Without the women, we would not have this machine” said President Saina.
Women have made inroads into the cooperative and the decision-making process by increasing their leadership. Dorcas Jeptanui is both the president of the Women in Coffee group and a member of the cooperative’s management committee.
In 2018, women launched the first women-only certified fair trade coffee in the region; an initiative that we as Vava Coffee were honored to be a part of. The quality of coffee produced by the Women in Coffee project has increased significantly, from 25% of production classifiable in premium grade (AA, AB and PB) to 70% .
The cherries are picked by hand, selecting only those at the right stage of ripeness, washed and soaked in fermentation tanks. After washing is finished, the coffee beans are placed on traditional “African beds” (beds raised off the ground that allow the coffee to dry evenly) for final drying.
Storytelling, B-Corp: empowerment of farmers
Vava Coffee is a certified B-Corp with a social enterprise business model that has a network of coffee producers in different regions of East Africa. Exporting coffee, roasting and advising on coffee value chains, the company aims to contribute to better future prospects for coffee communities and the industry as a whole.
“We are geared toward sustainable livelihoods for the people and communities we work with. Our vision is to challenge the status quo and promote positive social change within the coffee industry. Located in the picturesque Kajiado County inhabited by the quiet but courageous Maasai community, we work in this atypical coffee growing region to influence and transform communities by providing economic opportunity power using coffee: we do this through trade, education and capacity building with a strong focus on increasing opportunities for women and girls in these communities.”