In April 2016, Twin published two research reports with participation from JMI producers and conducted research on Women’s Coffee in the market with buyers:
In Africa, women often take a leading role in coffee production but have little say over the proceeds. Traditionally, few women are members of their co-operative, since the land deeds are registered in their husband’s names. This can leave women with limited power and say over income and expenditure. The knock-on effects are significant, since women usually take first responsibility for children, food, health and education.
The JMI co-operatives are part of a movement to change this. Women farmers are leaders in the co-operatives, sit on the boards and head up their primary society village-level co-operatives. They are members of the co-operatives in their own right. At Gumutindo, farmers have gone one step further in promoting fully traceable ‘Women’s Coffee’ with a premium paid towards projects which support women’s empowerment..
Women are taking part in workshops in their communities, with their husbands, to recognise and together change the power imbalances and move towards living in households where decisions and responsibilities are more equal. Leading the way in this work are the members of Bukonzo Joint Co-operative in Western Uganda. Here is an example of their approach, which they are now helping to replicate across East Africa.