Kathleen Schalch 18:22 The roasting plant in , Nicaragua, Canada Email Address List is run by local women coffee growers. In the front hall they sort and package coffee. Toward the back they pour raw beans into a state-of-the-art roaster, a large drum heated to 400 degrees. Eight minutes in, as the beans turn from pale green to brown, they begin to crack like popcorn. Finally, long metal arms scoop the beans in circles to cool them as they come out of the oven. is the plant’s Canada Email Address List eneral manager. 19:12 I learned every step, every step of the production. And I keep learning more every day. The most important thing is that nobody can take away my knowledge and the experience that I have gained here. And the same is true Canada Email Address List of the other women who work here with me.
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Kathleen Schalch 19:30 Three-quarters of the farmers Canada Email Address List and employees Vega works with are women. Noushin says that’s entirely by design. Women do much of the work it takes to grow coffee but they have traditionally faced discrimination and been paid less than men. Noushin Ketabi 19:44 One of our goals at Vega is to work towards gender equity in the supply chain. There are times in cooperatives where women are not allowed membership. There have Canada Email Address List been many cases where women might not have a chance to be a part of the coffee contracting on their farm or get access to capital and resources in the same way that male counterparts do. And for us, we wanted to create Vega as a way to bring women into the fold—making Canada Email Address List sure that they’re getting that proper opportunity and recognition for it. Kathleen Schalch 20:17 Nordia says it’s working.
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Here in Nicaragua, machismo really takes hold when a woman depends Canada Email Address List on a man. Working at Vega, we don’t depend on a man. On the contrary, we earn more than they do. Kathleen Schalch 20:39 And something else is different. Nordia says many people in her region of Miraflor had abandoned coffee farming. Now that’s happening less and less. 0:51 With Vega Coffee, we have seen a change, because producers are more motivated, and they are even Canada Email Address List making new coffee plantations. Kathleen Schalch 21:00 And they’re more hopeful about the future. That’s certainly true of Mayra Velásquez, the coffee farmer who once treated Rob to his first cup of home-roasted coffee. She’s earning two and a half times more per pound of coffee Canada Email Address List than she used to. And her kids make additional money working at Vega’s roasting plant.