Café Delas is based on the idea that given better access to resources traditionally held out of their reach, and an equal voice in leadership, women will not only produce fine specialty grade coffee, they will create positive impacts within their families and communities as a result. The concept of Café Delas can be summed up in one word, “empowerment;” but empowerment is far from a simple idea, so Olam sought to include a quantitative metric known as the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) within the program structure. Fundamentally, WEAI defines and measures empowerment as the ability to not only make decisions related to agriculture, but also an individual’s access to the “material and social resources needed to carry out those decisions.”
To help ensure that these advantages are realized through Café Delas, Olam established important principles for the program: All Café Delas coffee (100%) is traceable to the farm level and Olam guarantees the coffee is produced by women. Women manage receivables, invoicing customers and receiving payment directly into their own financial accounts. The women of Café Delas must work with coffee directly and hold relevant positions on the farm. Finally, for every pound of Café Delas sold, Olam will invest 3 cents in initiatives that promotes gender equality and empower women in coffee agriculture.
Coupled with ongoing training for women on agronomy and improving coffee quality, as well as workshops and events focused on empowerment, Café Delas is bringing specialty coffee to market.