Genuine Origin Expands Its Women Producer Program

La Morena bracelet produced by Wakami Guatemala. Photos courtesy of Genuine Origin

Green coffee importer Genuine Origin is expanding its La Morena program to women artisans in Guatemala to promote gender equity in the industry. 

According to Genuine Origin, between 20% and 30% of coffee farms are female-operated, with up to 70% of labor in coffee production provided by women, depending on the region.

After importing its first La Morena lot, it quickly sold out. 

Maria Morales is the assistant general manager at Volcafe Guatemala. The La Morena logo features a traditional Guatemalan dress and blue Guatemala flag color.  Logo by Volcafe Guatemala

“We didn’t realize that La Morena would become a platform for producers to showcase their coffee,” says Maria Morales, assistant manager at Volcafe Guatemala. “After this, all three farmers were contacted and sold their coffee directly to roasters!”

In 2018, Genuine Origin worked with four women producers from Huehuetenango and imported half of a container of La Morena. The following year, sensing increased demand, Genuine Origin worked with over 20 women producers and imported a full container of La Morena, and in 2020, the organization sought to expand the reach of the La Morena program. 

La Morena Producers sport their bracelets (from left): Yuris Yohana Villatoro Herrera from Finca El Río, Dalia Carlota Villatoro Herrera from Finca Los Pinos, and Floridalma Carrillo Cifuentes from Finca El Matasano

“We started thinking: roasters can’t wait for the next crop of La Morena,” says Morales.  “What about all the other women in our country that face challenges every day? What about helping them through La Morena coffee?”

For each box of La Morena a roaster purchases from Genuine Origin, they will receive a La Morena bracelet to commemorate their involvement in advancing gender equality in coffee production.

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