The Women in Coffee Alliance, an organization that brings together women in the coffee industry, is holding its first international conference in Costa Rica.
The theme of this year’s conference, which takes place in Orosi starting today is “Coffee From Hands to Hearts” and will feature speeches by President Oscar Arias, Culture Minister María Elena Carballo, and Néstor Osorio, director of the International Coffee Organization.
Coffee is one of the most traded commodities on the planet. Raw coffee beans account for almost 3 percent of Costa Rica’s total exports. Coffee exports grew about 30 percent from September 2007 to last month, according to statistics from Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Ministry (COMEX).
The loosely based women’s coffee alliance was formed in 2003 when 18 North American women in the specialty coffee industry traveled to Nicaragua to help women in the business create networks.
The organization, which has grown to more than 200 members, also seeks to elevate the quality of life of women who work on coffee plantations.
The conference, which runs through Saturday, is being held at Hotel Media Tapanti Lodge, which overlooks the OrosiValley, a major coffee production zone, east of San José.