Bean Voyage is a feminist nonprofit social enterprise on a mission to create thriving businesses with smallholder women coffee farms. Because historically women haven’t had the same access and opportunities as men, Bean Voyage works to improve these women’s access to training, finance, and international markets to put them at the core of the coffee business.
Bean Voyage: The Bigger Picture
For generations, women coffee farmers globally have earned less than their male counterparts. It’s been seen time and again. They’ve been excluded from access to information and market opportunities and face significant challenges to mitigate the risks of climate change, food insecurity, and economic volatility.
In response, Bean Voyage launched its pilot program in 2016 with two female-owned coffee farms in Costa Rica, training them to turn coffee cherries into market-ready coffee and connect them to buyers. From there Bean Voyage tested and developed their program building in topics vital to thriving coffee businesses such as quality analysis, market readiness, post-harvest practices and financial literacy.
Today, their programs serve over 980 farmers in Costa Rica and Mexico; many of whom earn 212% more in annual coffee sales and revenue than the market prices, and have benefited over 2,400 community members between the two countries.
What Does the Program Involve?
Bean Voyage focuses their programing using the Care Trade model, which consists of:
- Training: Topic-specific workshops to improve farm outputs and support farmers to mitigate risks (economic, environmental, and social). Topics include: climate adaptation, food security, farm and household finance, entrepreneurial leadership, and market readiness.
- Finance: Micro-grants that support farm improvement and business development projects.
- Market Access: Establish market connections with global direct-trade coffee buyers in countries such as Europe, the U.S., Canada, and South Korea.
- Mentorship and Advocacy: Year-long mentorship and advocacy for greater representation of smallholder women at a policy level. In 2021, Bean Voyage worked in collaboration with the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica to create Costa Rica's first coffee Gender Policy, which is now being implemented by the regional offices of Costa Rica's federal government.
Watch this video to learn more about Bean Voyage's Care Trade model.
What’s In Store
Bean Voyage has set ambitious goals for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. These large scale projects include: Market Readiness Initiatives, Farm Productivity Initiative, and a Womxn-POWERed Coffee Summit. To learn more about Bean Voyage’s current and future goals, head to BeanVoyage.org.