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Growing the Coffee and Cocoa Sector through Equity for Women Farmers

Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) in collaboration with Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

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A team of Yale University graduate students is strengthening the foundation for the Partnership for Gender Equity’s (PGE) systematic approach to gender equity by ensuring that it works for a diverse array of entities and intervention points in two significant supply chains – cocoa and coffee, and all of the families and communities that are related to them. It is also collecting the data that enables an approach that can better spark impact on gender, whether that impact is initiated through access to a project, a scorecard, or a digital application.  The project expands the reach of PGE’s business development, enabling their tools to reach more people in the supply chain, and their expertise to be integrated into the breadth of sustainability efforts.  


PGE is a US-based, women-led, not-for-profit social enterprise that works globally to accelerate gender equity and social inclusion along the coffee and cocoa supply chains. PGE’s vision is for equitable value chains that work for everyone: healthy households, empowered women, youth and families, vibrant communities, and sustainable supply for companies. PGE’s goal is to make gender equity standard practice in the coffee and cocoa sectors – favorably impacting the lives of millions of families.


To achieve its mission, PGE does three things: 1) they identify gaps in gender equity in families and communities and offer tools to assist producer organizations in closing them; 2) they encourage buyers to support these programs through their purchases and sustainability investments; and 3) they draw attention to these issues through research and evaluation that strengthen the evidence-based case for greater action.

Deliverables & Impact

This project provides near and long-term recommendations on the following questions and topics:


  • How do sustainability agencies within the coffee and cocoa sectors typically integrate gender equity as a cross-cutting issue into their bi-lateral or multilateral funded projects, when a gender focus is required by funders? How can the integration be improved or systematized by a third party?

  • How do PGE’s five criteria for gender equity in cooperatives relate to the operational functionality of large volume supply aggregators for coffee and cocoa? Based on the aggregators' similarities and differences to cooperative ways of working, where and how does the self-assessment need to be refined and validated with supply aggregators across four countries and regions: Indonesia, Honduras (Promecafe), Peru, East Africa (Uganda or Ethiopia)?

  • How can data related to gender equity be successfully embedded into digital applications that strive to create better access to coffee and cocoa supply chain data and increase traceability and/or transparency in these sectors?



  • During the Gender Equity Index validation phase in late 2021, at least 2 companies who work with a total of 10,000 farming families began the process to improve their services to reach more women.

  • With the GEI validation complete, PGE will work with another 3 to 5 companies in 2022 reaching another estimated 50,000 families. The lead roaster partner in the initiative, Lavazza, the 6th largest roaster in the world, seeks to ensure that its investments targeting 94,000 farmers in its supply chain meet women’s needs.

  • Our WFI Yale team's report reached and benefitted more than 50 prestigious roasters and brands across the global coffee and cocoa sectors including Lavazza, Starbucks, Nestle and more, and the 22 service providers that were interviewed for the research.

Project Blog - Growing the Coffee & Cocoa Sector

Yale Report 2021
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