By Carla Charter
In honor of International Women’s Month, Deans Bean’s Coffee is roasting a Excelso coffee bean grown by Mujeres Cafeteras, an all women coffee cooperative, in Columbia. “We will roast it a little darker. It is a special roasted coffee bean,” according to Dean Cycon, owner and founder of Dean’s Beans.
The cooperative, which began in 2017, employs approximately 100 women. Each family has an average of two and a half acres of land holdings which produces 18-20 bags of beans. “They grow and harvest the beans and export them to us, we roast it. This cooperative started in 2017.
There has been a movement in the last several years to pay more attention to gender issues. In some parts of the world women have formed their own cooperative. Half of the workers in the coffee fields are women. Activists such as myself have raised issues around gender equality in the coffee industry. We are known in the coffee industry for our dedication to gender equality. Dean’s Beans also sponsors literacy programs in Nicaraugua, India and Costa Rica.
The women there started it. We learned about the women’s project, investigated it and decided to take it on. according to Cycon. “When they sell the coffee themselves it is probably the first time they have been in charge of their own economic destiny. For many women they also learn a lot about business and management skills by participating in the coffee project.”
He explained that there are two main growing seasons for coffee beans. One season is right now and the beans are harvested in May and another season in September and October. “I am looking to help the women by looking for ways to diversify beyond coffee into bananas, squash and different kinds of beans which can be sold to the local market.”
The coffee can be bought at the Deans Beans website and at the Beanery in orange, ma. Currently the coffee is a limited edition If it is well received I would love to see it take off and bring it in as a regular item.” The Mujeres Coffee can be found at https://deansbeans.com/our-products/roasted-coffees/limited-edition-coffees.html