International Women's Day: Recognition of Women in the Coffee Industry
WOMEN IN THE COFFEE INDUSTRY
Women are deeply woven into the fabric of coffee production. They are coffee producers, farm and mill workers, lab employees, coffee buyers, exporters, importers, roasters, warehouse workers and baristas. They hold up half the coffee sky, yet are rarely featured in publications, their achievements lauded not frequently enough. Yet they labor on, often improving their own communities alongside their own advancement.
In this year’s International Women’s Day, we feature and give recognition to one such woman: Epiphanie Mukashyaka.
In photo and in person, Epiphanie’s presence exudes strength and character. She inspires us all with the determination with which she survived the 1994 genocide where she lost her husband and a child along with many members of her extended family. She took to what remained in the aftermath to rebuild her family – coffee trees.
With the entire country wanting to move forward and rebuild, development initiatives were made available. Realizing that higher quality coffee can command better prices, Epiphanie chose to pursue producing specialty coffee as a sustainable way forward through PEARL (Partnership to Enhance Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages).
Epiphanie grew from strength to strength, growing her own company (BUF Café) by not just improving her own harvests, but helping others by educating them how to produce better quality coffee. She has two washing stations to her name - Nyarusiza and Remera – producing topnotch quality consistently. For the past many years, we have bought and marveled at the deliciousness of these coffees.
With this year’s offering from Nyarusiza, we celebrate the achievements, and continue our support, of Epiphanie Mukashyaka.