Toolkit on Coffee

Gender in Value Chains

moderated by Caroline van der Molen
Sustainable Coffee as a Family Business

Approaches & Tools to include Women & Youth

To download this toolkit in English, click here

Para descargar esta caja de herramientas en español, clic aquí

Women form the majority of the world’s estimated 25 million coffee farmers, yet coffee is seen as a men’s crop. A sustainable supply of good quality and sufficient quantity of coffee for mainstream and specialty markets is often hampered by unequal distribution of information, labor, other resources and benefits within the coffee farming families. Women do much of the production activities, men tend to benefit more from training in sustainable coffee practices, inputs, income and other benefits derived from coffee sales. This unequal distribution leads to many inefficiencies in the coffee chain, and hampers the development of the coffee sector in general, and production in particular.

In many producing countries, average age of coffee farmers is increasing. Youth are not motivated to stay in coffee, face lack of ownership of land, coffee trees, access to training and finance, and benefits derived from coffee. As a result they leave the rural areas, looking for employment in towns. Continuation of coffee production by the “next generation” is therefore at stake, and poses a great risk for the coffee sector as a whole.


This toolkit aims to motivate and assist coffee roasters and traders and their practitioners to apply an inclusive approach to develop better functioning coffee chains benefitting both men and women of different age groups equally. It provides practical approaches and tools for all stages in value chain interventions. It is not a blueprint or guideline. Rather, you are presented with a range of tools to choose from an to customize for your intervention. 

This toolkit is a product of the cooperation between Hivos, AgriProFocus and the Sustainable Coffee Program, powered by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative. 

Interested in learning more? Please check out the toolkit on Gender in Value Chains and the publication Challenging Chains to Change