Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’
“To rebuild the spirit of a woman is to rebuild the spirit of a country.” That’s part of the mission statement of Rebuild Women’s Hope, an organization based in Bukavu, on the edge of Lake Kivu in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was started by a local Congolese woman and the organization works to empower local women coffee farmers. It’s one of many initiatives around the world focused on empowering women coffee farmers.
I wrote an article all about the topic that was published this week on Sprudge. Here’s a short snippet:
As part of that agricultural web, coffee is an industry dependent on the work of women around the globe, making gender equity an essential part of the sustainable coffee supply chain. “Most of the obstacles faced by women coffee farmers are the same as those found across the agriculture sector,” says Nick Watson, a coffee-sector adviser with the International Trade Centre, who has an initiative focused on women in coffee. “Social norms often discriminate against women in rural areas leading to disproportionate land and asset ownership; household and income decision making; time and labour distribution; access to information and training; and participation and leadership in rural organisations or as registered suppliers to agribusinesses.”
Despite these obstacles, it’s often thanks to women that the coffee production happens in the first place. “Women are on the front lines when it comes to our beloved cup of coffee. They serve as the primary labor force on roles that most affect quality, from picking the ripe coffee cherries off the tree to sorting beans throughout processing. Despite their significant role, most earnings go to men who own the property and manage commercial deals,” says Phyllis Johnson, president of BD Imports.
You can read the full article here.
Image: Glenna Gordon courtesy ITC
Super excited to have this article of mine up on Huffington Post. An important issue that definitely needs more exposure.
Contrary to common perceptions, legalizing industrial hemp production is not a fringe issue supported only by a handful of bong-ripping stoners. Many of Tuesday’s protesters were big names in the hemp industry including Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps President David Bronner and Founder of Livity Outernational Hemp Clothing, Issac Nichelson. “We already have public support [for the issue],” says Adam Eidinger, Communications Director for Vote Hemp and one of Tuesday’s arrestees. Vote Hemp is currently supporting a bill in Congress, H.R. 1866, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana and permit states to cultivate non-drug industrial hemp under state industrial hemp programs. “We’re hoping that by doing civil disobedience we’ll get some momentum in Congress,” says Eidinger.
In addition to activists, entrepreneurs across the world are changing the attitude towards industrial hemp. Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies, is working to ensure that industrial hemp is seen as a lucrative, viable resource that could change large industries, like textiles and paper, as we know them. NAT, a company operated out of Portland, Oregon, with its Crailar Fiber Technology, an enzyme treatment that makes hemp as soft as cotton, recently teamed up with industry giants Hanes and Georgia Pacific. But what is a pair of hemp underwear going to do to change the market? Actually, Hanesbrands Inc. happens to be among the world’s largest consumer apparel brands with $4.2 billion in sales last year. Think of all the cotton t-shirts that translates into. Switching the traditional material out for an equally soft hemp fiber gives the company the potential to exponentially expand the market for hemp textiles.