Progress Report on Colombian Women's Project

Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Co. has been a contributor of the Colombian's Women Project for several years now. The Colombian Women's Project started off as a place for women in conflict impacted zones within the Tolima region of Colombia, to find a place of empowerment through coffee farming and sustainability. Our partnership with them is one that we have cultivated closely over time and has been one of the most rewarding endeavors VMCT has taken on since our brand was established in 1989. 

Recent Update on the Happenings in Tolima

Tolima is one of the most important coffee regions of Colombia, but the far location of many of the coffee communities leads to many populations lacking access to basic services, good training, and resources that could significantly improve their production, lower costs, and increase livelihood. This especially affects women coffee farmers who historically and systemically have less access to resources. 

Specifically, the lack of access to drinking water in the area causes health problems in the population. Constant power cuts affect the quality of the coffee, while the traditional home kitchens are in poor condition that impact the health of families, the environment, and greenhouses. In addition, as many farmers don't have access to soil analysis, it is common to fertilize incorrectly, which greatly affects the costs of production and productivity.

Impact of Contributions from VMCT 

  • 30 productive units benefited from soil analysis. 
  • 30 productive units with a personalized fertilization plan.
  • 300 people benefited from the water purifier filter, including all family members and farm workers. 
  • 30 women trained in various topics. 
  • 30 farms with access to information from the training sessions. 
  • 3 families benefited from ecological kitchens. 
  • 2 families benefited from power generators. 

Training Program Subjects 

  • Safe drinking water
  • Tools and resources for the empowering of the women of the coffee farm.
  • Climate change and carbon footprint.
  • The importance of practicing fertilization correctly. 

Project Goals for 2024

  • Selection of beneficiary families for stoves and generators.
  • First meeting to socialize the project with the coffee farmers.
  • Follow up meeting about the first project where the location and further details will be defined. 

The training session took place on January 29th 2024, where the women received the following itinerary during the first day of the project:

1. Open activity "where we get to know each other and exchange experiences in the coffee field."

2. Socialization of the project and activities for the second meeting.

3. Integration of activity.

4. Training on theme 1, "safe and clean drinking water."

5. Break for Lunch and socialize. 

6. Training on theme 2, "empowerment of women in the coffee sector."

7. Closing activity and distribution of school kits for the children.

Next Set of Goals to Meet for 2024

  • Sampling and sending of soil samples.
  • Training for coffee growers.
  • Development of fertilization plan and delivery of results.
  • Water filter, stovetops, and generator deliveries to the community.

Read more on the Colombian Women's Project here and pick up your bag of Colombian Supremo from Tolima today!

Written by Jen Biro