In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Starbucks Mexico recognizes the role and importance of women in coffee through real-life stories of female farmers who dedicate their lives to grow coffee and, through Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices Program, have gathered the skills and tools needed to continue growing coffee for a much longer time.
Developed in collaboration with Conservation International in 2004, Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices is a verification program that measures farms against economic, social, and environmental criteria, all designed to promote transparent and sustainable coffee growing practices while also protecting the well-being of coffee farmers and workers, their families and their communities.
Starbucks remains committed to use its scale for good, working to ensure a sustainable future of coffee for all. It knows that this aspiration is possible thanks to the hard work done by the communities that produce it. Women have always been fundamental in the entire coffee journey, from seed to cup. In addition to being expert coffee farmers, they are also pillars that hold homes, farms, and businesses together.
This International Women’s Day, as Starbucks expands its goal to positively impact 1 million women and girls in coffee-, tea-, and cocoa-growing communities globally by 2030, the company shares stories of women in coffee from Mexico’s most important coffee-growing regions: Oaxaca, Veracruz, Chiapas, and Puebla.
Edilburga Martínez Martínez | Age 42 | Finca Yela Huetz, Oaxaca
“Coffee is a staple in our lives and has supported my family when it was needed most.” Edilburga lives on a plot passed on from generation to generation. Today, she works on the farm with her father, sister, children, nieces, and nephews. Since 2014, they have been a part of the C.A.F.E. Practices Program, and from 2018 to date, they have received around 1,300 rust-resistant coffee trees as part of the “Todos Sembramos Café” (We All Grow Coffee) Program, which has allowed them to continually renovate their land.
In her day-to-day, Edilburgadrinks at least three cups of coffee, one as soon as she wakes up and two more while working at the farm. Through her hard work, she keeps her family together.
Irma Cortez Cadena | Age 50 | Finca Pastepec, Veracruz
“The coffee from my farm tastes good because we produce things with love… Personally, I like to pulp, cut, carry, and sell. Everyone in this community knows how to do it, and I even roast my coffee the traditional way (on a “comal”).” Irma works the farm together with her brother after they inherited it from her father two years ago. The farm has been in the family since 1952. They joined C.A.F.E. Practices in 2020 and have since received 170 rust-resistant coffee trees.
Irma is proud of the quality of her crop and thinks of coffee as a product that has always been there for her and her family. She feels love for the land and the beans that grow from it.
Aura López | Age 41 | Fraccionamiento San Antonio, Chiapas
“Women work hard and provide support to increase production.” Aura drinks coffee three times a day and works the farm with her husband and son. Coffee is the sole means of support for the family. They recently became part of the C.A.F.E. Practices Program and will be receiving their first rust-resistant coffee trees soon.
Aura shares the joy felt when she inherited the farm and planted the first coffee trees with her entire family. She represents the fruits of perseverance.
Teófila Cruz | Age 51 | Finca el Pozo, Puebla
“One of the events that has left the strongest mark on me was when, after seeing the loss due to rust, the leaves once again sprouted, flowered and produced. Just when it seemed that everything was already lost, it gave us the hope of harvesting again.”
Teófila works alone on the farm that her father founded 30 years ago. Sometimes she hires a person to do more specialized tasks like trimming or shade pruning. She is proud of the renovations she has made to the farm since she inherited it six years ago. Around the same time, she joined the C.A.F.E. Practices Program and has received around 1,300 rust-resistant coffee trees to date.
Teófila – who’s name symbolizes the light of life – is proud of women’s dedication to the land and shares her love for the countryside.
Starbucks long-lasting relationship with Mexican coffee growers.
Starbucks relationship with Mexican farmers goes back more than 30 years, when the company first started sourcing coffee from Chiapas. Since then, Starbucks has been committed to sourcing coffee responsibly, for the betterment of people and planet, while also working to empower farmers, improve their livelihoods and positively impact their communities.
In 2014, Starbucks launched the “Todos Sembramos Café” program in Mexico, as an effort to help farmers overcome rust disease that damages coffee plantations. This program inspired the creation of the “100 Million Trees Commitment” in the United States. Together, both initiatives have donated more than 20 million coffee plants to Mexican coffee growers and farmers across the globe.
Starbucks is rooted in the mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit: one person, one cup, and one community at a time. At the core of this is the love for coffee. This year, as Starbucks celebrates 20 years in Mexico, the company remains committed to uplifting partners (employees), coffee growers and communities that it serves every day.