Our new tools are here! 

We are excited to share our new Engagement Guide and Common Measurement Framework for Gender in Coffee with you!  


The Way Forward

In 2014, PGE undertook extensive research to better understand the relationship between men and women in the coffee value chain, ultimately developinga set of recommendations to accelerate gender equity in the industry. The endeavor included a comprehensive literature review of key studies (both academic and development-based) and current best practices surrounding gender in coffee. Workshops in four different countries were subsequently conducted with coffee producers of both sexes and industry representatives, followed by several industry focus groups and one-on-one interviews.

This research culminated in “The Way Forward.” This report includes a comprehensive discussion of the findings and 8 Recommendations for Action.

Read the Executive Summary and the Full Report.


Full Report     /     Executive Summary    /     Reporte en español

Our hope is that the information and recommendations in this report will not only serve as a practical guide, but will also inspire each of us to become powerful change agents – whatever our role – as we work together to build vibrant coffee communities and a prosperous coffee industry for generations to come.
— -Kimberly Easson, Strategic Director, PGE

Stage 2 Tools and Resources

Theory of Change

PGE’s Theory of Change highlights the importance of working at varying levels of the supply chain. By focusing on inequalities between genders, starting with the most vulnerable sector (smallholder farmers), industry actors are able to shift power dynamics in households and positively influence behaviors. As family farming becomes more lucrative, men and women must learn to share responsibility and decision-making in order to increase household productivity. This will increase the value seen by and commitment of producer organization to invest in gender intervention. As such, their competitiveness will increase as gender equitable approaches become more incorporatedinto their own policies and practices.

As a result of this transformation, the end market will become even more mobilized to work with gender-equitable businesses and organizations, building incentive structures into their own supply chain and investing in collaborative approaches to gender intervention. This begins the cycle anew of more empowered households and producer organizations.

Project Methodology

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PGE is building a project methodology based on our theory of change, which will provide industry actors with a roadmap for managing a gender-related project in their own supply chain. Using PGE field-level project design as a basis, it will define the risks and rewards of gender investment while posing a five-stage approach: defining, planning, launching, managing, and closing and/or integrating.

PGE’s project methodology and associated trainings aim to meet the following objectives:

  1. Households gain access to education and skills essential to change power dynamics between men and women, thus achieving better farming outcomes.
  2. Producer organizations become more gender-sensitive and reform their practices and policies to be more gender-inclusive.
  3. End-market companies integrate gender-sensitive programming into their existing efforts and measures, gaining access to coffees that champion more lucrative, gender-equitable farming practices.

As part of our collaboration with the SAFE Platform of the InterAmerican Development Bank, PGE is creating a project guidance document to made available broadly in the coffee sector.

Engagement Guide

In 2017, with support from the Global Coffee Platform, PGE developed the Engagement Guide for Gender Equity in the Coffee Sector. The Guide provides a roadmap and resources for industry actors to engage in conversations about gender equity and identify actions to support gender equity in their own organizations and with supply chain partners. Based on evidence about gender integration in agriculture, it shares success stories, lessons learned, and good practices from coffee businesses and actors. Companies from across the sector provided samples of their work as reference for the guide, and a core group of eight individuals formed a Technical Advisory Group, which provided targeted feedback to ensure relevance of the guide’s content.

Request your copy of The Engagement Guide.

Common Measurement Framework

Made possible with support from the Global Coffee Platform, the Common Measurement Framework (CMF) for strengthening gender equity in the coffee value chain allows coffee industry actors to learn about gender differences in their programs and supply chains. Building on the hypothesis presented above, the CMF focuses on indicators that measure conditions that inhibit full participation of both men and women and maximize effective performance of the coffee value chain. When applied over time, the CMF results will help users to learn whether their efforts to support gender equity are working and, if so, to what extent.

The CMF is linked to the Sustainable Progress Framework of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and the Global Coffee Platform and includes, i) a results framework for gender equity in coffee, ii) a core set of indicators linked to the results framework, and iii) guidance on data collection and monitoring of each indicator. Nearly 20 companies participated in a validation effort over the past several months, drawing on their activities in Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Participants shared their experiences with the indicators and their perceived challenges and opportunities to adopt the indicators in the future. 

Request your copy of the Common Measurement Framework. 


The Gender Equity Principles (GEPs) are seven data-driven statements that organizations and companies may utilize to highlight their commitment to gender equity in the coffee value chain. They create a common language, behavior guidance andpre-competitive approach to gender equity across the sector while simultaneously filling a gap left by certification systems. This informs multi-stakeholder initiatives seeking to increase industry coordination.

The GEPs were developed by a group of roasters, traders, development practitioners and gender experts in consultation with researchers, coffee producers and industry actors-- including members of ACDI/VOCA, the CQI Partnership for Gender Equity, the International Trade Centre, the International Women's Coffee Alliance and the Specialty Coffee Association of America-- and build on other recommendations for increasing gender equity, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Principles for Responsible Agriculture and Investments.

Becoming a signatory to the Gender Equity Principles is not an end in itself; it is a point of entry for industry actors to recognize the importance of gender equity. It is a commitment to consciously examine, take action, and engage with the the impact of gender equity at all stages of the coffee value chain. It is a promise to change behaviors in the coffee landscape to improve gender relations, participate in the collaborative efforts of the industry to promote gender equity, and acknowledge the equally important role men and women play in all aspects of the coffee industry.

Industry stakeholders across the sector are invited to join this important effort.




There is general consensus on the importance of gender equity and women’s empowerment in the coffee value chain. It is good business, it is good for economic development and it is the right thing to do. The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals have reinforced this by putting women’s empowerment at the center of sustainable development. The coffee industry itself identified the need for a set of Principles to translate this consensus to action as part of the Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) research in 2014 and 2015. The Way Forward report coming out of PGE recommended “a list of gender equity principles in coffee to unite and galvanize the industry”. This recommendation reflects the industry’s readiness to move from raising awareness of the importance of empowering women into developing a shared, pre-competitive approach to systematically support women’s empowerment by modifying practices in management, procurement and other areas.  In addition, the Principles cover a gap that certification and verification systems do not when it comes to addressing gender equity in agriculture commodities.


The Principles create a common language on gender equity and women’s empowerment adapted to the coffee sector that will guide the behavior of actors across the coffee industry: from producer organizations, to traders, to roasters, to NGOs and development organizations, to service providers and others. Signing on to the Principles is not an end in itself, but rather a point of entry for each organization to measure and share data on its current impact on women. The Principles are a call to individuals and organizations to adapt their practices – and practices within their supply chains and networks – to further the empowerment of women. The Principles offer a set of measurable indicators as a basis for data collection that will allow signatories and the industry at large to better understand the roles of women and how these roles change over time. Finally, the common language set forth by the Principles will inform the multi-stakeholder initiatives seeking to increase industry coordination, including Vision 20/20, the Global Coffee Platform and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge.


In compiling the Principles and adapting them for the coffee sector, the steering committee has examined work and research conducted on women’s empowerment from organizations globally, including the United Nations. The Gender Equity Principles distill global best practices into actionable steps and indicators for the coffee industry to inspire action and drive change. The Principles build on and are aligned with other initiatives for gender equity such as the women’s empowerment principles, FAO’s Principles for Responsible Agriculture and Investments, and the findings of “The Way Forward” study of the Partnership for Gender Equity among others. Coffee has been a leader in valuing and promoting sustainability, and the industry has the potential to lead in gender equity, as well.


By signing these Principles, the person/company/organization acknowledges the equally important role that men and women play in all aspects of the coffee industry and are committed to change the landscape and behaviors in their environment to improve gender equality for individuals and coffee outcomes for the industry as a whole.

Becoming a signatory to the Principles is a commitment to consciously examine, take action, and measure the impact of one’s organization on gender equity at all stages of the coffee value chain, from agricultural production to the experience of end consumers, and to participate in the collaborative efforts of the industry to promote gender equity.


The Principles are designed to inform efforts already under way to improve industry coordination, not to duplicate them. The objective is to make reporting on the Principles an integral part of performance measurement at the organization level and to incorporate them into platforms such as the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and the Global Coffee Platform. At a future point, the Principles will draw from these sources to assess global commitments and progress.


The Principles were not developed in a vacuum. A group of roasters, traders, development practitioners and gender experts have worked together to create this draft version of the Principles and bring it to the industry for comments. The next step is to get input to make the Principles at once actionable, easy to communicate, ambitious, and transformative. In the first round of feedback slated for Q3 of 2016, we will reach out to small groups of industry actors representing coffee producers as well as consumers to get their honest assessment and advice on how to make these principles truly industry-ready. Following that, we will open the Principles to global comment and seek commitments and signatories. As momentum builds, we will continue to work with stakeholders and groups to incorporate the Principles into global reporting frameworks.


Gender empowerment and women’s empowerment do not aim to promote one sex over another. Rather, gender empowerment is the ability for men and women to participate equally in society at the household, community, and national levels, especially regarding economic and political decision-making. Women’s empowerment narrows the focus when there is a gap in equality in order that women have the ability to realize their full potential to participate in society as decision-makers. Both gender empowerment and women’s empowerment work to create a balanced society. Gender equity deals with justice and fairness and means that women and men have the same opportunity, taking into account their respective needs and historic disadvantages. Gender equality means and that men and women are equally valued and free from stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination so that opportunities do not depend on being a man or a woman. Gender equity can be a pathway to gender equality