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Why Women Are the Backbone of the Coffee Industry

Ana Mustafa female owned specialty coffee farm

As a female-founded, owned and run coffee company, here at Alpaca we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the wonderful world that is coffee. With International Women’s Day just around the corner on the 8th March, what better time than now to celebrate and highlight the huge role that women play in the coffee industry? 

The hidden superheroes in coffee

According to Lucia Bawot, a Colombian coffee photographer and filmmaker, “women play an indispensable role at a farm level. However, the lack of recognition, their opinions being hushed, and their marathon work still being undervalued and unpaid are some core challenges.”

“These women are basically hidden superheroes… So again, I wonder, why are we still asking ourselves if women are essential at the farm level?”

Did you know that within the industry, 70% of farm roles are filled by women who do everything from picking to sorting to processing? 

Not only that, the entire coffee supply chain is also made up of female baristas, traders, roasters and coffee company owners, like our Founder, Victoria.

Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery, Founder at Female Barista Society, says:

"There are so many incredible companies, initiatives and projects across the entire global coffee industry that are founded by, owned and run by women… By supporting them, you support a generation of women who are seeking to create a more inclusive industry.” 

Excerpts of this article clipped from “The indispensable role of women in coffee” by Jenna Gottlieb, New Ground Mag.

We also want to take this opportunity to highlight the story behind our Colombian Mustafa single-origin, a delicious coffee from the Mustafá Estate run by Ana Mustafá.

Ana's Story (pictured above)

Ana comes from a coffee producing family in Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia. This area is known as the Coffee Axis of Colombia as it is the traditional high-volume production area of the country. Ana’s family owns and manages three farms around the town of Pereira.

Up until very recently, coffee production on the Mustafá family farms has always been high-volume commercial coffees. Ana's interest in specialty coffee and the access to the specialty market drove her to start producing specialty grade lots on her farms with the goal of converting to majority specialty production.

Ana has taken it upon herself to direct specialized harvesting, separation and processing protocols for the lots she produces on her family farms and has begun releasing high-value, specialty coffees in an area of Colombia typically known for commodity coffee.

She is a real testament to female leadership in coffee and pushing forward on quality and inclusivity! If you’re interested in trying this wonderful Colombian single-origin coffee by Ana, you can grab a bag here now.

Our Founder's Story

victoria founder of alpaca coffee, female owned specialty coffee company

Victoria is the Founder & CEO of Alpaca Coffee, on a mission to make coffee coffee better all round and ask the industry the awkward questions, like why isn't this packaging plastic-free? Or how could this coffee be better sourced?

What started as a trip to South America, turned into a quest to bring delicious coffee to people's homes. When Alpaca Coffee was born, she knew from the get-go that she didn't want her business to contribute to a world with over 320 million tons of plastic pollution.

Alpaca Coffee has been recognised by BBC Good Food as the 'Best Environmentally Friendly Coffee' and our Founder has also been named 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year' by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Starling Bank, and '100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch' by The Telegraph, NatWest and the Rose Review Board.

Thank you for reading our piece on women in coffee! Fancy grabbing a bag of our delicious specialty coffee? Check out our bestsellers here.

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