PRODUCERS: Edith Toledo, Liliana Toledo and Melida Alverca
Although it is more common to think of a coffee grower as a male figure, arguably overlooking the impact of women on coffee production, when you start looking more in detail, this view is completely off. When women get fully involved in the production of specialty coffee, the benefits can be seen with healthier families, better farm management regarding incomes and savings. This limited edition seeks to recognize and encourage these empowered, hard-working women, who are calling the shots, either the ones who are just starting or the ones that have been in the coffee business for a long time. Either the ones that work with their families, or the ones who manage their own farms and sustain their families through the production of coffee. We seek to show their faces and their impact in this industry. All of them are resilient, fierce and go getters in communities where males usually dominate. We invite you to be part of their journey, see them progress and give them all the recognition that they deserve.
Warmikuna comes from the Kichwa word that means women or group of women. Kichwa is an ancestral language from Ecuador and one of the o cial languages in the country. The name honors the history, their ancestral roots, and highlights the women who keep pushing forward in front of adversity and in a male dominated environment to produce their coffee.
Edith Toledo, Liliana Toledo, and Melida Alverca are three remarkable female coffee producers from the parishes of Chito and Palanda in Zamora Chinchipe. They each have their own farms where they live with their families. In addition to coffee farming, their households are involved in other activities, such as cattle farming, which their husbands manage. Edith, Liliana, and Melida take charge of coffee production, overseeing the entire process, managing the farms, and often handling the commercialization of the coffee. Their love for coffee is a tradition that has been passed down through generations, and they continue this legacy with active involvement from their entire families. They have acquired the art of coffee production from their parents and grandparents and have taken significant steps toward producing high-quality coffee.
For these three women, being coffee producers is a source of pride and accomplishment. They view their coffee plants as if they were their own children, witnessing their birth, growth, and the fruit they bear. As women, they believe they bring a more detailed and meticulous approach to coffee production, which drives them toward achieving the highest quality.
Their message to consumers of their coffee is, “We are strong, dedicated, and focused. We have the ability to produce high-quality coffee and provide for our families.”