Women Roasters and Producers to Gather in Costa Rica for Unique Conference

The Womxn-POWERed Conference aims to establish lasting bonds between women roasters, women producers and coffee professionals.


BARISTA Magazine

Photos by Bean Voyage

While traveling in 2014 with the objective of co-organizing an initiative for small-holder women in the southern part of Costa Rica, Sunghee Tark and Abhinav Khanal were amazed by the gender-based discrimination and difficulties they observed for women who produce coffee. While pondering the idea of how they could assist, Abhinav and Sunghee came up with the idea to create their non-profit organization, Bean Voyage. In the spring of the year 2015, Bean Voyage today is located in San Jose, Costa Rica and is focused on increasing access to information and market connections to create an equitable value chain that benefits smallholder women who are coffee producers.

Sunghee Tark and Abhinav Khanal are co-founders of Bean Voyage.

The Womxn-POWERed Summit is launching

After years of working on the ground in collaboration with women producers Bean Voyage will host the Womxn-POWERed Summit (WPCS) between August 11 and 12 which will bring smallholder women producers of coffee together with female roasters and professionals.

Created to be a private gathering for sharing ideas and brainstorming perfect practices and to provide lending assistance, WPCS has extremely limited space. Anyone interested should RSVP to secure their place on or before July 25. The event will take place at Doka Estate in Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Agenda Items Agenda

The two days of events will be a panel discussion and break-out discussion groups and opportunities to network. The topics include:

* The power of platforms What is the way the Women In Coffee Project working to bridge the gap between producers and consumers? The speaker is Amaris Gutierrez Ray Women in Coffee Project + Joe Coffee.

* Panel on supply chain from the viewpoint of smallholder women to women who are coffee roasters. Panelists include: Delfina Porras Solis Vamay Coffee; Sarah Girdzius, James Coffee Co. Maria Paz Lobo, The Coffee Source.

* Coffee Price and the unsaid dynamic in the supply chain. Presenter: Xinia Chaves, executive director of ICAFE.

* Let’s talk about cupping accessibility, standardization, and inclusion. The speaker is Jen Apodaca, Mother Tongue Coffee.

Bean Voyage was founded to offer education and resources to smallholder women who are coffee producers. They hold in-person workshops–such as this one about vermicomposting–throughout the year.

Additional Activities

The other special events are a showing of the documentary Mas Que Un Cafe(translation”stronger than” Coffee) as well as an interactive tasting workshop that showcases the coffees of the 2021-22 crop in Costa Rica; a special discussion with Itzel Mendoza from Colectivo Rokunin in Mexico about the distinctive Las Flores del Cafetal Project and much more.

The event brings together women who roast coffee and women producers from Costa Rica for two days of intense networking and education The Womxn POWERed Coffee Summit is the very first in its class.

A quick Q&A with Sunghee Tark, co-founder of Bean Voyage

In the middle of putting together what promises to be an incredible event for women working in coffee, Sunghee was kind enough to join us for an interview to discuss the intention of the event as well as what she and her team hopes to achieve.

Barista Magazine:The idea of bringing women producers together with U.S. roasters and baristas is unique and has never been done previously as a separate event. What steeps this the perfect time to hold this kind of conference?

Sunghee Tark: While we believe there have been a few other initiatives to host forums in producing countries to help foster relationship-building between producers and roasters, from what we find out, this is the first event that features women and gender-diverse individuals at the center of the conversations. As we continue working with smallholder women producers of coffee We’ve been noticing increasing each year the necessity for a space where women can comfortably and freely talk about their experiences, grasp and understanding. It is also an opportunity to expand the “classroom setting” to allow women producers to connect with one another, share their stories, and form stronger communities to tackle the challenges and work together to create an industry that is truly sustainable and equitable.

BMag:What do you do you hope that the women producers of coffee will discover? What tools or education will they take away?

Sunghee Participants will get direct feedback from professionals in the field on how they interpret cupping scores the relationship between cupping and pricing scores and what to expect when sending samples to “direct-trade buyer,” stories told in various ways (music or documentary, art and more. ) and the development of the roasted coffee market across both the U.S. and Costa Rica processing changes throughout Costa Rica in different regions and likewise getting an grasp of how to interpret price of coffee and the experiences of overcoming uncertainties in the market. More than anything else, we hope that they acquire practical tools and tips to help them better position their coffees in the market, to earn fair prices, as well as establish relationships with those who can accompany them throughout the journey.

To reserve your seat at this two-day conference that is actually special visit this link. For more information on the Bean Voyage organization, go here.

Here’s a bit more about Bean Voyage: Bean Voyage works with smallholder coffee producers that self-identify as female. When we have used the term WOMXN We have been drawn by the Spanish language’s work with of “X” to refer to women and gender-diverse persons. Your feedback and suggestions are appreciated as we strive to make our work more welcoming and inclusive. Please email us your thoughts at [email protected].

This post was first published at Barista Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to baristas and coffee professionals.