Q. What does Femme Café mean?
In French, it means women's coffee. It includes the feeling of supporting the coffee made by women.
Coffee has historically been introduced as a cash crop around the world, but in societies where the status of men is relatively high, women have worked but the benefits have flowed to men and have not benefited from them. Today, in the coffee business, women are still engaged in low-paying simple tasks, and men are more likely to take control of sales and make more profits.
In such a social situation, we sympathize with the idea of A. Immy, a Rwandan who starts a coffee company with the aim of improving the status of women and actively hires and supports women in production areas, so our organization was established.
Q. What kind of country is Rwanda?
It is located slightly east of the center of the African continent. Although it is a landlocked country that does not face the sea, there is a large lake (Lake Kivu) that is also the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo. The size of the country is 1.4 times larger than that of Shikoku, which is unusually small in Africa. With a population of about 11 million as of 2012, it is the second most densely populated country in Africa (13th in the world). (By the way, the first is Republic of Mauritius, 9th in the world ranking, Japan is 19th). At the end of the civil war in 1994, there were 5.5 million people, and the population has increased rapidly, doubling in the last 18 years. Therefore, environmental problems such as soil erosion are serious due to land reclamation and excessive land use.
Q. What is happening to Rwanda's coffee industry?
Coffee was a cash crop brought in by Germany during the colonial era and is still the second largest export item in the country and is an important industry in Rwanda. The industrial population is about 400,000. Small-scale farmers who grow about 200 coffees per household are the mainstream, and there are few large-scale plantations found in South America. Most of the export destinations are Europe, followed by the United States. Exports to Japan are very low and Rwandan coffee rates in the Japanese coffee market are fewer than 1%. Therefore, Rwandan coffee is very rare in Japan!
Q. Is it fair trade coffee?
Our products are not certified as fair trade coffee. However, the purchase is not at the market price, but at a price that is convincing the producer who is our partner. It's fair trade in that this values equality, but it's common sense and we work together as a business partner to provide high quality coffee beans.
Q. Where can I buy coffee?
In addition to regular sales events at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (except for long vacations), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Co-op also sells coffee beans and ground coffee beans. We open sometimes at events such as Sakai Marché.
Q. Are the sales donated?
They are used to fund activities.