Orang Utan Coffee: Gender Impact Story

Women’s empowerment is a key objective of development policy (Alkire et al. 2012). Women’s full participation in public, economic and political life is recognized as necessary condition for gender equity and justice, as well as a driver of broad-based development and economic growth (Klasen, 2013). The link between reduced inequality, improved economic performance and living conditions has been widely documented. Gender equality and human development are positively correlated and most research concludes that, while the causality could run both directions, reduced inequalities promote economic growth. 

Harnessing gender equality to spur economic growth and the protection of the nature is crucial in Orang Utan Coffee.Based on the recent farmers data (Orang Utan Coffee, 2022), women contribute significantly to the coffee sector. Between 20% and 30% of coffee farms are female-operated and up to 50% of labour in the production is provided by women. 

However, the empirical evidence on the field shows that, within rural households, women often have limited say in decision making and are constrained in their access to public services, such as training and extension programmes. Orang Utan Coffee actively promotes women participation, incorporates gender considerations in the content and delivery methods and works with existing women’s groups as key delivery partners within the associated communities, i.e. quality control in cherry picking and manual hand-sorting. Timing and location for meetings are carefully considered to accommodate specific needs of women. For example, some meetings are facilitated only for women, and take place at their houses in the afternoon and on weekends when they usually have time available. The project also involves female personnel in important management positions, including: project management, project marketing, agronomy, landscape management, database coordination and fundraising.