June 11, 2015

International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) – Australian Chapter Formation

A group of 20 Australian women will gather in northern NSW to form the Australian chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA). Three days of social and networking activities from 13 – 15 June will culminate in the inaugural meeting on the last day.

They will have the opportunity to visit plantations, roasteries and numerous specialty cafes. Roasters, buyers, cuppers, baristas, café owners, trainers along with media and marketing representatives (mostly from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne), will experience a taste of Australia’s rural coffee culture while figuring out ways to align with their peers in other countries.

At the Monday meeting, their needs and interests as women working in the Australian coffee industry will be discussed and documented – along with the IWCA vision and mission statement.

With global coffee issues such as training, commercialisation, sustainability, corporate and social responsibility on the agenda (as per the IWCA Chapter Formation Protocol) and the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (of gender equity and empowering women) as an underpinning force, it looks like they’re in for some lively discussion.

The organisers, Amelia Franklin (Amelia Franklin Fairtrade Coffee Roaster, Bellingen New South Wales) and Christine Cottrell (Coffee Education Network, Brisbane Queensland) wish to make it very clear, this isn’t an alliance of women only. Male partners, colleagues and friends are welcome to become members.

They felt that northern NSW was the ideal location with everyone in the coffee supply chain from producer to consumer represented. Christine says she’s always amazed at the number of people overseas that don’t realise we grow coffee in Australia. She also says that’s well on the way to being rectified – with 250 Facebook ‘likes’ in just a couple of weeks – following several posts showing images of Australian plantations.

Amelia was inspired to do something for women in other countries after visiting Papua New Guinea where life is vastly different for women working on coffee plantations. She’d also like to connect with other like-minded women in the Australian coffee industry who share her values. She believes the IWCA is the perfect vehicle for achieving both.

If you’d like to learn more about the IWCA, you may contact …
Amelia on 0410 601 910 or or
Christine on 0407 021 220 or
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