Brewing a better future for women in coffee

Papua New Guinean (PNG) women in coffee are some of the world’s most resilient players in the global coffee market. Not only do they live in a country that is geographically challenging, but they are adversely impacted by cultural practices that hinder their productivity in all facets of their livelihoods.

The PNG Women in Coffee Association (WICA) exists to make a real difference for PNG women and their important contribution to developing a prosperous PNG coffee industry.


  • PNG WICA, a not-for-profit association established in 2012, is a platform for PNG women and youth involved in the coffee value chain. Its Secretariat is based in Mt. Hagen, Western Highlands Province.
  • 6,680 members– most of whom are coffee growers, and women in coffee businesses including co-operatives.
  • PHAMA Plus is working with PNG WICA to help the association become an effective representative of the thousands of women coffee groups and farmers in the country.

What we are doing: The first step is supporting the development of the PNG WICA Strategic Plan which outlines the association’s vision, mission, key thematic areas, goals and strategies. It is anticipated that PNG WICA, through PHAMA Plus support, will also help strengthen its representation and value proposition to its members and enhance connections with other agencies such as government, development agencies, private sector, and institutions, such as the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA).

Who will benefit: PHAMA Plus is collaborating with PNG WICA to improve the participation and increase benefits to farmers (women, men, and youth) and stakeholders in the coffee value chain; including establishing market access for PNG WICA premium-priced, speciality coffee. The partnership is based on the understanding that women perform most of the tasks that directly affect coffee quality, such as picking cherries and grading. When given equal access to household resources, they are more likely than men to invest in family and the future.

Progress to date: In late 2020, PHAMA Plus supported PNG WICA to develop a draft Strategic Plan. PHAMA Plus engaged a team of advisers with comprehensive knowledge of the global coffee market who have worked on designing sustainable business member organisations. The local context and knowledge of women in coffee in PNG, as well as drawing on our program experience of supporting and facilitating industry associations in other countries and sectors, ensured the strategic plan was designed using an inclusive process and captures the voice of women, youths and farming households engaged at the different stages of the coffee value chain.

Next steps: PNG WICA will launch the Strategic Plan in early 2021, with a focus on attracting interest and funding support from a wide range of stakeholders so implementation of the plan can commence as quickly as possible.  PHAMA Plus will continue to support PNG WICA where appropriate with the rollout of selected elements of the plan.

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