Woman-Owned & Empowering Coffee Company
Little Coffee Company Quick Facts
Female-founded by Lauren LeFranc in London, England
Empowers women through financial independence
100% of the purchase price goes directly to farmers
Sustainable & traceable coffee
Smallholder farmers make 80% of the worlds coffee. About 70% of those farmers are women.
- Little Coffee Company
Over 500 million smallholder farmers in the world, and most live on less than $2 a day. They face many challenges including lack of access to markets, agricultural inputs and finance.
Many farmers face difficulties receiving payment for their beans. Most of which is in cash which is dangerous and adds transportation costs. We pay farmers instantly, no-mark ups.
Having direct access to buyers means farmers are receiving market value for their beans.
We help farmers to develop their farming techniques to help maintain a sustainable and environmentally friendly crop.
Shop their coffee here.
I asked Lauren a few questions about her company, inspiration and challenges:
Since 100% of the price paid through you goes directly to farmers, how does the Little Coffee Company make money?
We make money from the buyer. We charge an admin fee for completing the transaction and the costs associated with connecting them to our farmers.
Is the coffee industry male dominated? If so, what are the challenges or what changes have been rewarding to experience?
Yes, it is male dominated. I am co-founder of the International Women in Coffee Alliance (Jamaican Chapter) which was recently established. It’s a charitable foundation that helps to empower women in all aspects of the coffee industry. So we are really proud of that and we have some ‘badass’ women who are making changes in the industry!
Challenges: Lack of respect
Rewarding: I was finally listened to/respect was given because I was making changes. I think I was underestimated because of the generational gap as well as being female.
Not only do you educate farmers to grow sustainable beans, you empower them through higher wages and community growth. What led you to focus on empowering female farmers and their independence?
Well this just happened! I really never intended to set out to do anything. I didn’t get the best grades for my A levels (college). [I] went back to Jamaica [and] worked on a coffee farm with amazing women for a few years and I knew that I wanted to help.
I knew it wasn’t sustainable. I knew it was unethical and I wanted to try to help. So the rest is history!
What does a usual work day look like for you?
Every day is different, but I always start with one cup of coffee in the morning...of course!
Take the tube (subway) to the office
Meetings, pitches, roaster visits
Lots of travel to Africa and meeting new farmers around the world 🌍
Shop their coffee here.
Are you inspired? Do you know where your coffee beans come from?
Post a comment or question below and don’t hesitate to share this post and help create a cycle of fair trade & sustainable coffee ☕️😘
& remember to allow your authentic self to empower the women around you