The Coca-Cola Foundation, TechnoServe and the FNC Team-Up for Colombia Coffee Women’s Empowerment Project

The groundbreaking initiative will increase access to information and services for 11,000 female coffee growers

Bogota, Colombia (March 30, 2017) -- Today, The Coca-Cola Foundation, TechnoServe and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) announced they will work together to help 11,000 female coffee farmers in Colombia’s Antioquia region access important training, agricultural information and services. The initiative, called the Colombia Coffee Women’s Empowerment Project, is funded by a $100,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to TechnoServe, and will take place over a seven-month period.

Women are involved at all levels of the Colombian coffee industry - one of the country’s most important economic sectors- and have increased their role in coffee production and leadership in their communities. However, in some regions they still face many challenges,   among them, limited access to coffee-farming information and training, markets and resources.

The project is designed to address these inequalities in several ways. TechnoServe will help build the capacity of FNC’s extension workers to deliver training and services with a gender-equity lens, addressing women farmer’s specific knowledge gaps and encouraging their full participation and leadership alongside men. FNC extension workers will deliver this training to farmers, empowering 11,000 female farmers and their families.

An additional 1,700 women and youth will receive training on the business of farming. This training will include lessons on joint decision-making, dialogue, negotiation, bookkeeping and other business skills. This will equip women coffee growers and the next generation of coffee farmers with an important skill set.

Empowering female farmers in this way can have a significant economic impact on farming families. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that productivity on women-operated farms would increase by up to 30 percent if women had access to the same productive resources as men. Studies have also shown that the adoption of good farming techniques and technology increases when male and female farmers from the same household attend training together.

“We’re proud to partner with TechnoServe and the Colombia Coffee Growers Federation on this important program,” said Helen Smith Price, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “By leveraging the collaborative expertise and resources of our organizations, we have an opportunity to provide more economic opportunities for farmers and their families, creating a ripple effect of positive impact throughout communities.”

“In the 90 years that the Coca-Cola brand has been in Colombia, we have been committed to bring development options to the communities where we operate. The empowerment of women is a priority within our value chain and we therefore seek to further strengthen this type of program,” said Louis Balat, General Manager - Andina Franchise Unit at The Coca-Cola Company.

“As Colombia embarks on a new era of peace, it is more important than ever that women are able to fully share in economic opportunities,” said William Warshauer, TechnoServe’s CEO and president. “That is why we are so excited to work with The Coca-Cola Foundation and the FNC to help equip female coffee farmers with the information and skills they need to dramatically increase their revenue from coffee and improve the lives of their families.”

“For a long time, the FNC has been promoting equal opportunities for men and women in the coffee industry and strengthening women’s empowerment with a gender, rights and family approach. Increasingly more women play a key role in the coffee value chain, from seed to cup, thanks to these efforts. And teaming up with such important partners will definitely help us leverage our work on that pathway,” said Roberto Velez, CEO of the FNC.

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About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $900 million in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please visit http://www.coca-colacompany.com/giving-back

About TechnoServe
TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 29 countries, we work with enterprising men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. By linking people to information, capital and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities. TechnoServe has earned a 4-star rating from independent evaluator Charity Navigator for the last 10 years, placing us in the top 1 percent of all its rated nonprofits.

With nearly 50 years of proven results, TechnoServe believes in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.

About the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation
Created in 1927 by the Colombian coffee growers themselves to represent them nationally and internationally, and to ensure their well-being and improve their quality of life, the FNC represents over 560,000 coffee-growing families. A sound and long-lasting institution, it provides Colombian coffee farmers with public goods and services that help them climb the coffee value chain.

Media Contacts:
The Coca-Cola Company: April Callahan, acallahan@coca-cola.com
TechnoServe: Rebecca Regan-Sachs, rebeccars@technoserve.org