The Starbucks Foundation and TechnoServe Partner to Empower Women in Coffee Farming Households in Peru

A new grant will launch the Mujeres CAFÉ program to support leadership and decision-making for 1,300 Peruvian women.

Lima, Peru, March 27, 2023 – Today, The Starbucks Foundation and international nonprofit TechnoServe announced the launch of the Mujeres CAFÉ initiative. Leveraging the work of the Coffee Alliance for Excellence (CAFE) program, a USAID initiative, Mujeres CAFÉ will work with 1,300 women in coffee farming communities in the Peruvian regions of San Martín and Huánuco to develop their leadership and communications skills and take on a greater role in household and community decision-making.

Women administer approximately one-quarter of Peru’s coffee farms, but these farms are typically less profitable than those run by men: baseline data from CAFÉ shows that, on average, men earn 29% more than women farmers overall and 45% more from coffee sales. Women-led farms face several obstacles to profiting equally from the coffee sector, including less access to land, agricultural training, and financing. This data doesn’t account for the many women who support family coffee farms alongside their spouses but who aren’t leading farms on their own. Within households, women frequently contribute a significant share of the on-farm labor without having equal decision-making power, a pattern driven by societal norms that present men as heads of household and minimize the role of women as farmers.

Mujeres CAFÉ aims to address these challenges by developing personal effectiveness, collective agency, and communication skills among women in coffee farming communities, using climate change resilience as a focus for collective action. Working with six producer organizations, the initiative will implement locally adapted women’s leadership training for 1,300 women in the community. The program will also use participatory qualitative PhotoVoice methodology to evaluate the impact of the program. This methodology uses photography and storytelling to capture what participants consider to be the most significant changes in their lives as a result of the leadership activities. 

“To create a sustainable future of coffee for all, we must care for the well-being of the farmers and communities that grow coffee, tea and cocoa around the world, and when we invest in women, we are also investing in her community,” added Michelle Burns, Starbucks executive vice president of Global Coffee, Social Impact and Sustainability and board member of The Starbucks Foundation.

The Mujeres CAFÉ initiative in Peru will contribute towards The Starbucks Foundation’s goal to positively impact 1 million women and girls in coffee-, tea- and cocoa-growing communities around the world by 2030.   

“Peru’s coffee sector has grown in recent years thanks–in great part–to the hard work, perseverance, and entrepreneurial spirit of women farmers,” said Sergio López, Chief of Party for CAFÉ. “We are excited to partner with The Starbucks Foundation in launching the Mujeres CAFÉ initiative to help ensure that women coffee farmers are able to exercise their voices in their households and communities and profit equitably from their work. When women farmers are empowered to lead, they make their communities more prosperous and resilient.”

 It is expected that at the conclusion of the nearly two-year program, participants will report increases in their decision-making power in key farming and household decisions, control over income, and self-efficacy. All six producer organizations will also have gender action plans and anticipate that women will hold at least 40% of leadership roles.


About The Starbucks Foundation

The Starbucks Foundation strengthens humanity by transforming lives across the world, with a focus on enabling community resiliency and prosperity and uplifting communities affected by disaster. Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law. More information at:

About TechnoServe

Founded in 1968, TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty for good. A non-profit organization working in 30 countries, we work with people to build a better future through regenerative farms, businesses, and markets that increase incomes. Our vision is a sustainable world where all people in low-income communities have the opportunity to prosper.

More information at: Twitter: @TechnoServe | Facebook: @TechnoServe | LinkedIn: @TechnoServe

About the Coffee Alliance for Excellence (CAFÉ)

CAFÉ is a public-private initiative of USAID, executed by TechnoServe, which aims to increase the income of small coffee farmers so that they do not have to return to coca cultivation as an economic livelihood. To achieve this, CAFÉ helps farmers improve their productivity and get started in the specialty coffee industry, which pays better for high-quality beans.

More information at: Twitter: @AlianzaCafe | Facebook: @AlianzaCAFEPeru | Instagram: @alianzacafe