A message from the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and the National Coffee Association
During this time of challenge and significant hardship, sheltering in place has brought us closer to our families and loved ones. Coffee continues to provide comfort, health and perhaps the one routine that continues uninterrupted. And so it is this week, the week we mark the International Day of Families, that the National Coffee Association (NCA) and IWCA share a message to connect and empower.
THE SHARED CHALLENGE
Every part of the coffee community is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, from furloughed baristas to frontline grocery and delivery workers to the farming communities where coffee is grown. Across the industry, we are all working to adapt to rapidly changing government responses, community health concerns, and many other significant challenges.
“For the international market, as long as the ports are open, we will do our best to continue.”
— Union Majomut, IWCA Mexico as shared in the IWCA Insights Report
Coffee farming supports the livelihoods of an estimated 125 million people around the world and 1.7 million American workers. Behind every one of those people is a family and community. Well before the pandemic, coffee farmers were facing serious challenges ranging from building resilience in the face of a changing climate to struggling to achieve the profitability necessary for sustainable livelihoods.
The pandemic also exacerbates economic challenges and inequality. As the UN recently highlighted:
“…The pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems which are in turn amplifying the impacts of the pandemic…Compounded economic impacts are felt especially by women and girls who are generally earning less, saving less, and holding insecure jobs or living close to poverty.”
THE OPPORTUNITY AHEAD
Americans and consumers around the world have prioritized coffee as a daily staple during these uncertain times. Continuing this strong demand is a key to the economic survival of our favorite stores and brands. What is less well known is that strong demand for coffee is also critical to support coffee farming communities, including members of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA), as they also work to weather the pandemic.
“Coffee holds this world together when all else fails”
— Leslie Nanne, IWCA Guatemala as shared in the IWCA Insights Report
What’s more, drinking coffee provides health benefits. It is associated with reduced risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Particularly relevant to current times, a recent review by Dr. Alan Leviton of Harvard Medical School notes that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of depression by up to one-third.
So, as we join the United Nations in marking the International Day of the Family, to honor the strength and resilience of all families, from those who work tirelessly to grow the best beans possible to those who count on a daily cup to start their day. Wherever this message finds you, as you pour your next cup, know that you are connected, and empowered, through coffee.
Thank you from the National Coffee Association and the International Women’s Coffee Alliance.
ABOUT THE NCA
The National Coffee Association of U.S.A., Inc. (NCA), established in 1911, is the leading trade organization for the coffee industry in the United States. The NCA is the only trade association that serves all segments of the U.S. coffee industry, including traditional and specialty companies. A majority of NCA membership, which accounts for over 90% of U.S. coffee commerce, comprises small and mid-sized companies and includes growers, roasters, retailers, importer/exporters, wholesaler/suppliers, and allied industry businesses. Please visit ncausa.org to learn more.
ABOUT THE IWCA
The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is a global network of organizations united by the mission to empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry.We represent more than 25 countries, the majority of which are coffee growing. Together, we achieve empowerment through leadership development, partnership, and amplified market visibility. www.womenincoffee.org.