Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress Sofia Vergara has embarked on a new journey that combines her entrepreneurial spirit with her deep-rooted passion for her Colombian heritage. 

This week, Vergara launched ¡Díos Mio! Coffee, a brand that promises to bring the best of Colombian coffee to consumers while celebrating and empowering the women who produce it.

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A self-described “coffee connoisseur,” Vergara is excited to share the rich flavors of her homeland with the world. 

“¡Díos Mio! Coffee comes from my love of Colombian coffee and my high standards when it comes to the quality of my coffee,” Vergara said in a statement. “I grew up in Colombia, drinking Colombian coffee.” 

Gender inequality in the coffee industry

While the launch of ¡Díos Mio! Coffee is a celebration, it also shines a light on significant issues within the coffee industry, particularly those affecting women. Women contribute significantly to the global coffee sector, providing up to 70 percent of labor in coffee production, depending on the region. 

However, they face systemic barriers that hinder their productivity and economic outcomes.

According to a report by the International Coffee Organization (ICO), women in the coffee sector have systematically lower access to essential resources such as land, credit, and information compared to men. This disparity results in a measurable gender gap in yields, productivity, and farm income. 

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Female-operated coffee farms tend to be less productive due to limited access to quality land and financial services, as well as fewer opportunities for education and training.

The report highlights that while women make up a significant portion of the labor force, they often lack decision-making power within their households and communities. This power imbalance affects their ability to invest in their farms and improve their productivity. 

Moreover, women are often excluded from training programs and agricultural extension services, which are typically designed with male farmers in mind.

Empowering women through ¡Díos Mio! 

Vergara’s new venture aims to address some of these issues by providing a platform that celebrates and supports female coffee growers.

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By partnering with the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (The National Federation of Coffee Growers—FNC), ¡Díos Mio! Coffee ensures that the beans used in their blends are sourced from women who are integral to Colombia’s coffee industry.

“We have spent the last few years creating these blends with an amazing team of female coffee growers behind us,” Vergara said. “Women represent 30 percent of Colombian coffee growers, and it’s an honor to highlight their families and legacies through ¡Díos Mio! Coffee.”

¡Díos Mio! provides these women with a stable market for their coffee and Vergara’s superstar name helps to spotlight their contributions to the industry. By focusing on the stories and hard work of female coffee growers, ¡Díos Mio! Coffee aims to bring greater visibility to the challenges they face and the critical role they play in coffee production.

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Empowering women in this way can lead to significant benefits, not just for the women themselves but for their families and communities. The ICO report notes that increasing women’s access to resources and decision-making power can result in higher yields and farm profits. Additionally, women tend to invest more in their families’ health, education, and nutrition, leading to broader social and economic improvements.

¡Díos Mio! Coffee’s three roasts—Sweetness, Balance, and Strength—were also developed to speak to the qualities of and contributions of Colombian women in coffee farming.

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Sweetness (light roast) is a blend named “Dulzura” that captures the essence of a warm grandmother’s hug. It offers a smooth, fruity cup with delightful sweetness and a hint of acidity. 

Balance (medium roast)—which is inspired by women who balance work, family, and their passion for coffee—provides a rich aroma and flavor with notes of nuts, white chocolate, and brown sugar. 

Finally, Strength (dark roast) reflects the strength of Colombian women in coffee farming. It delivers a strong coffee flavor with cocoa hints and smoky notes.

¡Díos Mio! Coffee is initially available in ground coffee, K-cups, and Nespresso pod formats for online purchase through Walmart and the brand website.

Women in coffee

In addition to closing the gender gap in coffee growing and production, in recent years, women have worked for representation in other portions of the coffee industry, all of which are disproportionately male dominated. 

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In the United States, there are more than 3,000 coffee roasters. Empowered by organizations such as Women in Coffee, the number of women who operate coffee roasteries has been growing steadily—from only 50 operators in 2000 to 500 in 2020. 

A few notable women-owned coffee roasters are Black Coffee in Fort Worth, TX; Mother Tongue in Oakland, CA; Sip & Sonder, which opened its flagship location in 2017 as the first specialty coffee shop in Inglewood, CA.

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