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June 04, 2020 2 min read

#ProtectTheChain Series

Moyee Coffee is about Radical Equality. A coffee chain that is balanced and where the value is distributed transparently and fairly. And for us that means female coffee farmers having an equal position in the chain and sharing in our living income roadmap like their male neighbours. 

It's safe to say that can be pretty spicy in some of the rural areas of Ethiopia where we work and where more traditional views of the role of women in society are common. This blog, as part of our #ProtectTheChain series, highlights some of the research carried by 4 female researchers from the Netherlands who spent several weeks around the coffee farms of Limu Genet, Ethiopia last year. 

Satih den Dekker, Myrthe Jeuken, Chanti van der Kust & Lepke Rijcken set out with a simple question:


Could smartphones play a role in reducing inequality for female coffee farmers? 


Supporting Female Coffee Farmers

Across two villages in Ethiopia, they spent four weeks interviewing 30 coffee farmers to learn more about how our FairChain Blockchain for Goodtechnology could empower farmers, with a particular focus on understanding the lives, immediate needs and dreams of the 450+ coffee farmers we work with. 

Helping Farmers Open Bank Accounts 

Meanwhile before the last coffee harvest began, one of our Dutch colleagues Michael Lawrenson was working on improving access to bank accounts amongst all coffee farmers. Only one third of members in our coffee collective had bank accounts, with only a few of these being women.

Direct access to bank accounts gives greater autonomy over both personal and family finances. To convince our community – and again, the women in particular – of the benefits of a bank account, we invited the bank staff themselves to our farm in the mountains during the harvest. There, they spoke directly with our community members and created bank accounts for them on the spot.

Of the 371 new bank accounts opened during our last harvest, 93 of them were by women.

Supporting Female Coffee Farmers

How Smartphones Can Help Further 

Our researchers found the potential for smartphones, digital wallets and our Blockchain for Good tech offer more opportunities for women coffee farmers namely: 
  1. Control over personal finances
  2. Access to Education
  3. Ownership of their own data (and an awareness of identity, insight into the value of their coffee later in the chain and their own position)
Coffee Blockchain for Good

We're already using these learnings as part of our on-going work to digitise the coffee chain and connect you and your morning cup with coffee farmers like never before. Keep an eye on more news later this year! 

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