Throughout the history of Brazil, since 1727, coffee has been a product of the demands of the international market. In the first decades of the twentieth century, coffee cultivation produced wealth and accelerated the development of the country, especially in the state of “São Paulo”. Currently, Brazil exports over 32 million bags (60 kg) of coffee each year, being responsible for the annual revenue of US$5,3billion (CECAFÉ, 2021), which ensures the country the position of the world’s largest exporter of the product. The high value of Brazil’s coffee exports can be explained as a result of the diversity of producing regions, amongst which may be mentioned the region “Sul e Centro Oeste de Minas Gerais”, with an approximate annual production of 11.7 million of bags (60 kg) (CONAB, 2021).
In addition to high productivity, it is worth noting that the quality of the coffee beverage raises its market value, highlighting in this aspect the “Matas de Minas” region. The production of coffee in the most diverse producing regions stimulates the economy generating jobs, especially in the harvest and post-harvest period. In addition to generating employment directed to coffee plantations, the coffee-cultivation also stimulates other sectors of the economy, among which stands out the commercialization, with emphasis on specialty coffees.
It is also essential the role of women who are active throughout the Brazilian coffee chain, from work on the farm to specialized services such as logistics and marketing. Due to the strong base of the coffee sector in Brazil, it has been perceived the increase in the occurrence of events directed to coffee cultivation, including those of international scope. However, such events until the beginning of the 21st century had an exclusionary character, with the predominant participation of men with higher socioeconomic status.
Even according to the author, women often feared to participate in events linked to national agriculture, including in this aspect events linked to coffee cultivation, mainly due to the prejudice existing in this sector. However, women have recently been increasingly involved in such events, supported by national and international organizations, which aim to increase the participation of women in the labor market, especially in coffee cultivation, highlighting the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and Solidariedade, committed organizations with the recognition of the importance of women’s participation in Brazilian agriculture
In addition to the prominence of women’s activities in the coffee production sector in the regions of the “Matas de Minas” and in the “Sul de Minas” (Figure 3), women in these regions also stand out in terms of wages, in which more than 50 per cent of women in both regions receive between 2 and 5 minimum wages (Figure 4).
It can be identified that coffee women, who participate in events of the coffee sector, showed a higher performance in the coffee production stage, with a mean salary lower than U$ 1,100, despite the majority having a high schooling level. The women of the different regions of brazilian coffee production are also distinguished in other respects.
The monthly income is an example, since for each region there is the predominance of an average wage value. In Rondônia most women do not have a monthly income, in the “Norte Pioneiro do Paraná” women receive less than 2 minimum wages and in the “Cerrado Mineiro” the majority receives between 2 and 5 minimum wages. Regarding the socioeconomic characteristics, the coffee cultivation sector in which women are most active is the production of coffee, while the sector with lowest level of activity is the logistics and advertising.
The geopolitical regions where the highest wages are practiced in Brazil are the Southeast and Northeast, with emphasis on the “Planalto and Cerrado da Bahia”. According to the facts, there is still a long way for women to get a better wage and professionalization in niches filled mainly by men, such as coffee tasting, classification, logistics, and advertising. And so, we expect that in the future the programs that sponsor research in the coffee sector will ensure that women have better job opportunities and receive more space to lead research projects.
Source: Research, Society and Development, v. 11, n. 10, e230111032286, 2022 (CC BY 4.0) | ISSN 2525-3409 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33448/rsd-v11i10.32286