Between two waters, and bordered by Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, there is Honduras. Our first (ever!) offering from Honduras is this Organic and Fair Trade from Raos Cooperative, a group of women producers that truly stands apart.
Betwixt & Between we call it, because the coffee itself is that classic medium roast, slightly creamy and mellow, not too acidic. You'll appreciate the round and smooth mouthfeel, the relative simplicity and approachability of the flavors.
We also call it Betwixt & Between because of it's geographical location, and because even though Honduras (and coffee in general) has come a long way toward equity and freedom for women, we're still not quite there.
This offering is a testament to progress being made. Not all Honduran coffee is specialty grade, and much of it is fairly unstable because of training or processing methods. However, this coffee has everything working in its favor, and it shows. Climate, altitude and varieties are all excellent, but RAOS also stands apart in their processing, helping to improve the quality and consistency in the cup.
One of the reasons the cooperative is determined to market its women members' coffee is that 60 percent of the women face gender-based legal issues with regards to the ownership of their land, as well as limitations to the credit they can receive to finance the harvest every year. In addition to the program premiums these women receive for this lot, Cooperativa RAOS has many very active educational support programs open to all members. Gender assemblies are held by female members in order to discuss the women's needs, as well as ways of increasing equity within the group and community.
"Gender equity means that women and men have the right to equal and fair access to the use, control, and benefits from the same goods and services of society, as well as to decision-making in the areas of social, economic, and social life, as well as politics." This is Cooperativa RAOS's mission statement with regards to gender, a philosophy that the organization supports through the development of training farms, as well as integrated farm-management programs, and in increasing access to these programs as well as organic-farming support to all members, including the female growers.