Kimberly Easson, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Gender Program Advisor of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), presented at a World Bank event on Wednesday, February 10. Easson spoke about how to accelerate gender equity in the coffee value chain. CQI’s initiative, The Partnership for Gender Equity, of which ACDI/VOCA is a founding partner, released The Way Forward: Accelerating Gender Equity in Coffee Value Chains this past fall.

In addition to presenting the report’s findings, Ms. Easson laid out a vision of how to build a vibrant coffee industry through increased gender equity. She explained that “The future of the coffee industry is at risk and one solution to that is greater gender equity.”

Discussants included Holger Kray of the World Bank, Konrad Brits of Falcon Coffees, and Kyle Newkirk of S&D Coffee. Of the importance of gender equity to the coffee value chain, Brits commented that “The coffee industry continues to thrive, shrugging off the financial crisis of 2008 with the promise of growth for decades to come. There is growing recognition that risks at origin are risks shared by all, moving sustainability from a case for social justice to a case for business. As women make up more than half of the workforce, gender equity is critical to sustainability and the bottom line.”

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