Celebrating Women in Coffee this International Women’s Day

March 7, 2021

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating all the women in coffee we’re so grateful for. We deeply appreciate every single woman who makes this company run (did you know InterAmerican is 75 percent women?) and especially leaders including Kayd Whalen, head of our San Diego office, and Crystal Reyes, head of our Houston office.

Across Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, we send rounds of applause to Gloria Pedroza, head of NKG Quality Services; Ana Wilks, head of Research at the NKG Statistical Unit; Catalina Eikenberg, head of the NKG Sustainable Business Unit; Lena Tippel, head of Communications; Dr. Sarah Tischer, head of Compliance; and Jennifer Roberts, COO of our sister Atlas.

And from across the industry, we’re grateful for the leadership, thoughtfulness and friendship of coffee professionals including Phyllis Johnson, of the CCRE; marketer and strategist Jenn Chen; Barista Editor-in-Chief Sarah Allen; Roast Magazine Publisher and Founder Connie Blumhardt; Janice Nadworny and Marcella Pino, the powerhouses behind Food4Farmers; and so, so many others. This industry wouldn’t be what it is without them.

Lastly, we’re grateful for the women at the beginnings of the coffee supply chain, who without question do the heaviest lifting. We know that the most important way that we, at InterAmerican, can thank and encourage them is by buying their coffees at fair prices. And frankly, we plan to do better at this.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, which means calling out inequality and “choosing to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.” So we pledge to do a better job of always offering “women’s coffees” — and growing the conversations around all that phrase can mean, from buying from women-only cooperatives to buying from mills and organizations that are managed or owned by women.

Currently, we’re delighted to offer the following four coffees, three of which are grown and produced entirely by women, and one that comes from the farm of an IWCA member and a team strongly influenced by women. We hope you’ll enjoy them — and celebrate them with us.

Produced by Women

GEA coffee producers

The women producers behind Honduras Gea Organic.

Honduras Gea Organic Arriving this week

Our sister export company BECAMO created Gea from the contributions of more than 300 women producers in the Lempira and Ocotepeque regions. The women come from every situation but have so much in common: They’re up before the sun, they’re housekeepers and caregivers to the young and the elderly, and they’re outrageously hardworking and determined. Over and over, they’ve “shown their ability to take a rough patch of land and turn it into a successful coffee farm,” shared a colleague at BECAMO.

She added that BECAMO chose the name (in Greek mythology, Gea is the goddess of the Earth and the mother of all creation) because they believe it “embodies the determined spirit of women” that they see every day.

Cupping notes: Floral, grape, herbal; juicy acidity, smooth body.

Panama Hortigal Estate Arriving May

Hortigal Estate has been family owned since 1920 and is today entirely run by women. Specifically, Eira Maria Suarez and her daughters. The Suarezes oversee every aspect of production, from applying fertilizer with what they call “precision technology,” to the handpicked harvest and specific protocols instructed to the mill — a private facility run by Eira’s brother Norberto.

Hortigal Estate

Eira Maria Suarez and her daughters Nadeia and Lourdes are third- and fourth-generation coffee producers on Finca Hortigal.

They maintain the diversity of native trees on the property (which consequently has become a bird-watching destination) and follow sustainable farming practices that foster biodiversity on the land, which they call “our most precious legacy.”

Cupping notes: Chocolate, brown sugar, graham cracker, citrus; winey acidity, creamy body.

Mexico NKG BLOOM Zongolica Arriving May

Mexico NKG BLOOM Zongolica coffee producer

Twenty women coffee producers contributed to our our Mexico NKG BLOOM Zongolica SHG EP.

We’re told the 20 producers of this coffee call it WPZ: Woman Power Zongolica!

This coffee was grown and produced by women in the Zongolica region of Veracruz, Mexico. The region is deeply influenced by the rich, ancestral heritage of its people, most of whom are part of the Nahuas indigenous group. Across generations, the Nahuas have shared their language and wisdom about plants, rivers, animals, mountains, the planet and the universe through storytelling by their elders. Zongolica farms are agroecosystems, meaning they take into account the impact of the farming well beyond the farm and work to balance the energy and nutrients to preserve the region’s biodiversity.

Guatemala Finca Santa Margarita Arriving early June

Finca Santa Margarita is the family farm of Camila Topke, a trader on our Houston team, a member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and formerly vice president of the IWCA Guatemala chapter.

Camila was instrumental in developing forward-looking environmental programs on the farm — including promoting an agroforestry system focused on organic compost-based soil nutrition and high shade coverage — and is still very active in its management. Santa Margarita is largely operated by women, and in addition to many women pickers, women are in charge of grafting seedlings and of leading the farm’s school and health clinic.

Cupping notes: Milk chocolate, brown sugar, floral; citric acidity, smooth body.

Guatemala Finca Santa Margarita

Grafting seedlings on Finca Santa Margarita.