In honor of International Women’s Day, Peet’s Coffee is continuing a beloved tradition: celebrating the founding of the company with a special Anniversary Blend that pays tribute to and supports women coffee growers.
Peet’s will donate a portion of every sale of this year’s Anniversary Blend to Mujeres to Market, an inaugural micro-financing program underwritten by Peet’s to aid women growers in Huila, the southern coffee growing region of Colombia. The program is the culmination of a multi-year effort that began with the training of more than 100 women farmers in entrepreneurship thinking and business planning. Now the graduates of the training program will be eligible to apply for the new loans to fund their business ideas.
“What we love most is crafting great coffee and finding a way to support the people who grow it,” says Phil Maloney, head of coffee purchasing at Peet’s. “By diversifying their crops, the women growers are diversifying their income, making farming for them truly sustainable, providing year-round income, and leading to healthier families and communities.”
The women farmers in the program are members of Coocentral, a farming cooperative in the department of Huila, high up in the Andes. The co-op created Mujeres Cafeteras (Women Coffee Makers), a brand of coffee grown only by its women members and committed to paying a premium price for the women’s crop. Soon Peet’s Coffee was buying the bulk of the Mujeres Cafeteras beans and looking for ways to further support the initiative.
“Learning was the thing I wanted most of my life,” says Lucia Alvarez, who completed the Peet’s training program. “Now I have expanded my farm from coffee only and I am selling eggs and a variety of vegetables at market.”
Mujeres to Market is just one of more than 30 programs Peet’s supports across the coffee-growing regions of the world, ranging from multi-stakeholder efforts to improve gender equity to supporting clinics and childcare facilities designed to help the families of coffee farm workers. In 2021, Peet’s became the first coffee company to be verified for achieving 100 percent responsibly sourced coffee, according to the standards set by sustainability non-profit Enveritas. The groundbreaking achievement was the result of a multi-year process to verify the conditions and practices of the thousands of mostly small coffee farms in countries around the world that supply coffee to Peet’s.
Peet’s opened its first coffee shop in Berkeley in April 1966 and celebrates its founding every year with a special Anniversary Blend. With this year’s blend, the velvety chocolate of the Mujeres Cafeteras from the women growers in Colombia meets the juicy plum and aromatics of a coffee from Rwanda. The special blend will be available in Peet’s coffee bars and online at peets.com for $22.95/pound through June.