The Caffè delle Donne thanks to IWCA


Today, Thursday 25 November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The subject is very delicate and requires sensitivity and a thorough knowledge of the correct language to use. For this reason I do not go into the phenomenon, because I do not feel aware enough to treat it with due respect.

However, on the occasion of this very important day, we at Ernani wanted to present a project in which we believe so much: IWCA.

But what is IWCA?

It is the acronym for the International Alliance of Women in Coffee.

Specifically, IWCA is a non-partisan and inclusive organization which does not consider sex, religion or political thoughts. The IWCA welcomes everyone, including individual, private or public organizations.

The only limit is the sharing of a common final goal: to protect the rights of every worker and strengthen the presence of women in the coffee community.

The key aspect is therefore the fact that it guarantees everyone the opportunity to lead a dignified, sustainable and meaningful life, with particular regard to women.

In fact, you must know that, like almost all sectors, the most exploited and underpaid workers are those at the base, in this case therefore the peasants.

They do not enjoy a stable contract or a minimum wage, they have no rights that we take for granted here in Italy and often do not have a healthy home for themselves and their family, without running water or electricity.

But guess who is on the lowest rung yet? The woman.

They receive a lower wage than the man's already meager pay, are not entitled to maternity leave and much more. They often work with babies on their backs, trying 10 minutes every now and then to devote themselves to breastfeeding, possibly in secret so as not to be fired.

This is what the IWCA is about: identifying the most at-risk situations in the world and fighting to protect workers, with particular sensitivity towards women.

All to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of this sector, which has always been extremely male-dominated, as well as helping them to lead a better life.

Concrete examples can be a higher pay and above all adapted to the cost of living, a greater respect and protection of their rights, or the construction of kindergartens inside the plantations, where you can leave your children while you work or even the possibility of having  healthy accommodation at affordable prices.

The fundamental values of the association are:

  • Respect for people and their ideas;
  • Economic and social sustainability;
  • The fairness of the distribution of world resources;
  • Collaboration between communities and the top management of corporate properties;
  • The greater enhancement of everyone's personal resources;
  • The inclusion of everyone: women, men and young people, to produce a positive impact on their communities.

If you've been following us for a while, you will surely have heard of our Caffè delle Donne >coming from the Cachoeira company in Brazil, cultivated by a group of strong and determined women, who control every step of the production process, from caring for the plant to harvesting and processing raw coffee. The company adheres to the IWCA.

You can buy this coffee online >> or at our Ernani roasting in Milan, Corso Buenos Aires, 20. 

Until now, however, we had to rely on the global or Brazilian IWCA, as there is no legally recognized Italian entity.

But things are changing!

Thanks to a group of young people from the coffee sector, IWCA is also being born in Italy!

Only a few months to go, and we at Caffè Ernani have already signed up! We are eagerly waiting to be able to present the whole project in detail, to be able to officially recognize IWCA Italy and start with them all the projects developed in the last year.

Unfortunately, it is still too early to introduce them to you, but I can guarantee you that we want to give a strong voice to women, who too often in this sector are set aside and not valued.

Are you curious to find out which missions will IWCA Italy have?

Keep following us! The news will come very soon!

One more thing ... it is important to underline that these issues are always to be taken into consideration, not only on occasions like this one. It is important that all battles and missions are carried out constantly, to achieve true gender equity.

Martina Mazzoleni 

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