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CQI’s Partnership for Gender Equity Launches ‘Equal Origins’ Campaign

Nicaraguan producers learn new home and farm planning tools in a PGE household-level workshop, March 2017. CQI photo.

The Coffee Quality Institute, creator of the Q Grader system, has announced a new sponsorship program to celebrate the third anniversary of its Partnership for Gender Equity program (PGE).

Called Equal Origins, the fundraising campaign is seeking $1,000 contributions from 100 sponsors, from individuals to large businesses, with the goal of giving program partners throughout the coffee industry an equal voice in their shared commitment to gender equity in their supply chains.

The nonprofit CQI has listed 10 companies that have already pledged their support for the campaign, which the group hopes will be fully funded by April of 2018. CQI says the money raised will be used to strengthen strategic partnerships, determine links between gender equity and youth engagement, and help build the next round of tools that “respond to industry needs and opportunities” in building healthy supply chains, among other initiatives.

In 2015, the PGE released a report called “The Way Forward: Accelerating Gender Equity in the Coffee Value Chain,” which has served in part as a practical guide for the project in building tools and methodologies, and creating pilot projects, to drive engagement in gender equity for parties throughout the chain.

“Equity, such a simple thing, is a generations-long struggle for hundreds of thousands in coffee. While I resent constantly that initiatives such as Equal Origins are necessary in our world, they absolutely are,” Blue Bottle Coffee Buyer Charlie Habegger said in a press release issued by CQI. “I participated in a PGE workshop for household-level change in Myanmar, and I think any rational person buying coffee would have seen the stability and profit potential this work can bring to communities when done well.”

Ten companies that have already pledged their commitment in the Equal Origins campaign include: Santa Cruz Coffee Roasters, Batdorf and Bronson, Salt Spring Coffee, Reunion Island Coffee, Blue Bottle, Dean’s Beans, Peace Coffee, Tate Coffee, Metad PlC, and Single Origin.

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