International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA)

23 October 2008

The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) held its First International Women in Coffee Conference from 23 to 25 October 2008 in Orosi, Costa Rica on the theme of ’Coffee from hands to hearts’. The Conference was chaired by the President of the IWCA, Kimberly Easson, and organized by a committee including Margaret Swallow, Secretary of the chapter of the IWCA, and Grace Mena, Chair of the IWCA International Relations Committee. It was attended by over 120 women from producing countries including many Central American countries, India, Kenya and Uganda as well as major consuming countries including Canada and the USA. The aim of the Conference was to share technical knowledge on the coffee industry through workshops, build connections between women throughout the coffee value chain and celebrate the wide diversity of women in the coffee community. The ICO Executive Director was invited to give the keynote address and encouraged participants to continue to work together and develop membership of the IWCA. The IWCA is a non-profit organization working to achieve its mission to empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry. Through International Chapter development and funding, networking opportunities, and mentorship and training programs, it strives to acknowledge, elevate, and connect women in coffee around the world.

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