Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:30 pm
Subject: Coffee Tea & Me Expo screens STRONG COFFEE
Inspirational Documentary on the Lives of Women Coffee Growers Makes U.S. Screening at Coffee, Tea and Me Expo

“Strong Coffee – The Story of Café Femenino” Sheds Light on the Billion Dollar Coffee Industry and the Groundbreaking Program that is Bringing Independence and Equality to Women Coffee Producers Worldwide

Despite ongoing progress with fair trade, farmers responsible for producing the second largest traded commodity in the world continue to live in poor conditions with substandard wages. This struggle coupled with long-established attitudes and ‘machismo’ that exists in many of the coffee growing regions has fueled the cycle of abuse, neglect and poverty for many women coffee producers.

Strong Coffee – The Story of Café Femenino is an inspirational and educational film that takes a deep look into the daily lives of women coffee producers, and the emergence of the Café Femenino coffee that has prompted a cultural shift and a renewed sense of independence and empowerment for millions of women coffee producers worldwide. The documentary will make its Official U.S. Premiere at the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in November, but the producers have granted special permission for a pre-screening at the Coffee, Tea and Me Expo on October 20th in Pasadena, Calif.

Determined for a better life and future for their families, over 460 women coffee producers in Peru united to grow, harvest and produce their own high-quality, organic coffee beans called Café Femenino. Through the support of the Organic Products Trading Company (OPTCO) along with other industry leaders, the women were able to export the beans for distribution to earn their own income.

The Café Femenino Project was formed in 2004 to provide women coffee producers with programs aimed to help build new skills as well as social and support networks. Today, more than 4,000 women coffee producers in seven countries are behind the production of the Café Femenino Coffee, which is distributed by more than 80 roasters in U.S., Canada and Australia.

“Strong Coffee is a beautiful, well-crafted documentary that brings to the forefront a very important and real issue in our industry. Despite the struggles of these women, we are inspired by what can happen when people and groups with similar goals and vision come together,” said Gay Smith, founder of OPTCO and The Café Femenino Project. “Café Femenino continues to bring new hope and opportunities for women coffee growers, and through this film, we can continue to educate and bring increased support to this valuable program.”

Strong Coffee is directed and produced by Sharron Bates and Carmen Klotz, and runs 48 minutes.

Coffee, Tea and Me Expo takes place October 20, 2007 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif. Tickets are $20 at the door. Net proceeds from the expo will benefit The Café Femenino Foundation. For more information, please visit or contact 877-600-1276 ext 5.