Scott Conary, owner of Carrboro Coffee Roasters, said the coffee industry is led by men. However, women take on much of the responsibility for the families involved in this industry.
“Historically, most coffee-growing countries are very patriarchal," Conary said. "They’re very male-dominated, even though women might be doing the majority of the work.”
Easson said most coffee is grown on family farms, which are comparable to small businesses. The coffee industry is largely considered a man’s industry because men are seen directly participating in the coffee market. However, activities that transpire close to the family farm behind the scenes, such as caring for the plants, checking the bean quality and tending to nurseries, are predominately completed by women. The payment received for the coffee is often received solely by the man, leading to this inequity.
“There is essentially an imbalance of decision-making and tasks that men and women have that really mean that quality of life for women is often less than men in poor, rural households," Easson said.
Conary said the documentary promotes awareness of an issue that most people don’t know much about. He said the documentary bridges awareness with action by pointing viewers toward the situations and attitudes that need to change.
“It just shows you the reality and the spectrum of what that reality is, but also highlights some of the possibilities and how everyone can play a part,” Conary said. “From what work can be done on the ground in the country to what can be done on our end from a consumer act, what our expectations should be and how we can help change the dialogue.”
Easson said this documentary enables viewers to be more responsible consumers.
“I think by seeing the documentary you are a better-informed citizen,” Easson said. "That can then lead you to make better choices and have positive impacts on the lives of others.”
UNC senior Meredith Ellington said she is interested in seeing this documentary because she was not aware of the gender inequity issue in coffee production.
“As a woman who would like to get into the coffee industry, I think it would be really great to know what more I personally could do, and what’s being done for women in the industry,” Ellington said.
Easson said she believes all can benefit from the experience of this documentary, especially Chapel Hill’s coffee connoisseurs.
“It gives you an insight into the lives of coffee,” Easson said. “Especially if you are a coffee-lover, it’s a way for you to see an aspect of coffee that you haven’t had a chance to see before and gain insights that you haven’t necessarily had a chance to think about before.”
Conary said he hopes this documentary continues to be shown, especially because of its celebration of women.
“We are going to air the documentary as many times as people want to come see it. We're just trying to figure it out,” Conary said. “In this instance, we wanted to do it in conjunction with International Women’s Day and the month to keep highlighting the power of women and how they are such a huge force in all the good that happens.”