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Thematic Workshop Women in Coffee to be held at ICO’s 122nd session

Women play a crucial role in the global coffee value chain, from bean to cup. Up to 70% of labour in coffee production is provided by women, and around 25% of coffee farms worldwide are managed by female growers.

However, compared to men, female farmers face constraints in accessing production factors, markets, finance and extension services, resulting in a gender gap in coffee yield and income.


The gender gap extends further along the coffee value chain where women can often face social, cultural and economic barriers preventing them from reaching their employment and entrepreneurship aspirations.

Gender equality was included as one of the Millennium Development Goals and reconfirmed as a global priority within the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Bridging the gender gap to empower women and provide equal opportunities in the coffee sector is a basic human right.

Productivity gains are also unlocked in coffee production to help meet increasing global demand and strengthen resilience against the impact of climate change.

Gender equality and the ICO

Gender equality is this year’s thematic focus for the International Coffee Organization (ICO), and all development projects supported by the ICO aim to address and provide solutions to reduce the gender gap in the coffee sector.

Thematic Workshop

Participants in the Thematic Workshop will discuss with a panel of experts ways of fostering gender equality in the coffee sector:

  • What are the main determinants of the gender productivity gap?
  • What is the role of women farmer groups and collective action in improving market access and value addition?
  • How can coffee roasters empower women through sustainable sourcing policies?
  • How can multilateral financial institutions promote equality of opportunity and drive change through investment along the coffee value chain?
  • What is the role of consumers in fostering gender equality?


16:30 – 16:40 Welcome and introductions

José Sette – Executive Director, International Coffee Organization Kellem Emanuele – President, International Women’s Coffee Alliance Christoph Sänger – Senior Economist, International Coffee Organization “Main findings of the ICO report on gender equality in the coffee sector”

16:40 – 18:00 Panel: Empowering women: Bridging the Coffee Gender Gap


Eileen Gordon – Secretary General, European Coffee Federation


  • Ann Mayanja – Managing Director, Coffee World (Uganda) Ltd
  • Melanie Landthaler – Consultant on Coffee Sustainability and
  • Gender Equality / Nestlé Nespresso
  • Barbara Rambousek – Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion,
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Casey Lalonde – Co-Founder, Girls who Grind Coffee