Friday, September 14, 2018

87. Call for Public Data on Women in Coffee

Sep. 14, 2018
A few months ago we blogged about the remarkable lack of progress when it comes to data on women in coffee. Click here to review that blogpost.

Thanks to a great article (click here) in Global Coffee Report yesterday, written by journalist Lindsay Holloway, there is now more recognition in the trade press about the problem, also. The article reviews current work being done by two organizations, the International Women's Coffee Alliance, (IWCA), specifically the Research Alliance, and the second is research Nespresso is conducting. The article includes insights from Melanie Landthaler, a consultant on the Nespresso project, also comments from Kellem Emanuele and Ruth Ann Church, board members of IWCA.

While we appreciate high-quality reporting on this current and vital issue of collecting more data to understand gender issues, there is another critical step to reach objectives for impact. We need the research to be publicly available. Only then will groups at origin, like IWCA's 20 chapters in 20 producing countries, have the data available to them that enables them to measure impact, plan strategically and create sustainable programs.

Groups that collect data but do not share results and datasets publicly are pursuing a questionable practice called neo-colonialism. With their power and money, they organize researchers and "extract" data from farming communities. Then they withhold that information behind closed doors, making action based on data by local groups, working on the ground in producing countries, less effective.

Groups which are publishing their research are to be commended and we would like to do that here: 
Michigan State University - Food Security Innovation Lab
The Specialty Coffee Association
International Women's Coffee Alliance
Please let us know if you know of others! These are groups that understand the power of data on gender issues to change lives and make coffee sustainable.