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From Education To Calibration

Ivania Calderón, Coffee Producer at Cooperativa La Providencia

Common assumptions and stereotype images of coffee producers in the global South can affect the relationships that people working in the specialty coffee industry try to establish with farmers. Lisanne’s presentation will challenge these assumptions as she guides the audience through the dominant discourses of producer representation in the specialty sector and how the reality of poverty and diversity in producer life is perceived in the global North.

Ivania will join Lisanne Oonk to deliver a key part of her presentation with a focus on the actual diversity of producers in different regions, countries, communities and families.


Developing on Lisanne and Ivania's presentation, CoLab'ers will be invited to create a campaign. This campaign should challenge stereotype thinking on coffee origins and coffee producers and aim to trigger dialogue among contributors at different stages of the value chain.

Ivania is a single mother of 5 children and a third generation coffee producer in Nicaragua. As a little girl she used to help her mother in the house, and her grandparents on their farm. When Ivania was 15 years old she stopped school and started work to help her mother and three brothers on the farm – all working for a better life for the family.

Ivania took a 15 year break from the struggles of farming to work in an office. She eventually returned when an opportunity arose to start working with the cooperative model, and that is when she started Cooperativa La Providencia R.L. With some savings she managed to buy a plot to start coffee farming. The memories of her childhood returned and she and her mother Margarita felt inspired to start coffee farming together. Now, 16 years later, Ivania and her mother have an income from the farm and the sales of their coffee. Ivania also benefits through her work as the cooperative’s manager. Her greatest aim is to continue working on carrying the message of hope, encouragement and awareness for the most vulnerable and needy class of her country.

Thanks to the cooperative model Ivania has been able to hold positions within the management bodies of CECOCAFEN R.L (the overarching organisation of multiple cooperatives in Nicaragua), and to represent them inside and outside the country.