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From the 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Women in Coffee

Finalist in Instagram

Entered in Food & Beverage, Storytelling


Starbucks Reserve Abakundakawa is one of our most celebrated coffees. More remarkable than the coffee itself is the community that brings it to life. Our main objective for this social media campaign was to educate and inspire our followers to take a closer look at the extraordinary story behind the the Abakundakawa Cooperative of western Rwanda.

Over half the members of this co-op are women: a true rarity in the world of coffee. In an industry where women have historically been hidden figures, the women of Abakundakawa hold prominent roles of leadership, both culturally and in coffee production. Together, these women have transformed the role of coffee within their community. With strength and commitment to their cause and no small amount of grace, they have transformed what was once largely an agricultural commodity, into a vehicle of empowerment, identity and personal agency.

As the quality of coffee within this co-op continues to blossom so does the place of women within the Abakundakawa community. Our aim was to use our voice and global platform to celebrate the accomplishments of these women, using Instagram's dynamic design to create an immersive, genre-defying form of storytelling.

Strategy and Execution

Using the platform of our Starbucks Reserve Instagram we posted nine, well-researched posts and two dynamic Instagram Stories. Each entry was designed to reveal a unique facet of the Abakundakawa Cooperative, and each post served as a chapter within a narrative that unfolded over the course of three weeks.

Working in partnership with our Global Coffee Traceability team, the campaign was the result of months of research, planning and communication with our partners. With an eye toward transparency, and a desire to underscore the transformative role these women have in their community, we were able to find the name of every member within the Hingakawa Women's Association, a group of 150 fearless, pioneering leaders. Through our research, we were also able to shed light on the innovations these women are bringing to the art and craft of their trade, as well as their awe-inspiring work cultivating economic and social mobility.

In essence, our goal was to communicate an incredibly powerful, nuanced and layered narrative on a platform designed for building relationships and creating connections. Using the hashtags #WomenInCoffee and #Abakundakawa, we were able to engage with of-the-moment conversations around gender equity, and give voice to a community that means so much to us. Simply put, this campaign was an invitation for our audience to appreciate the time, effort and uplifting stories of humanity behind a cup of coffee.


The result of this campaign is an unprecedented compilation of research. The posts were shared on different social media platforms and served as a tool for education and social awareness.


Our top priority is creating content that is meaningful and resonates with our audience. To that end, our goal of customer engagement is measured by how well and how often our content is consumed. The key engagement metrics we use to distinguish this are average talk rate (comments received divided by the number of followers at the time of a post). For the posts published over this tapestries lifetime, we saw a +28% increase in engagement compared to previous tapestries.Sharing to Educate:

Sharing content through reposting or using community hashtags has had a positive impact on top-of-mind awareness and drove education around the community of farmers we work with. Receiving organic word-of-mouth awareness around our content is infinitely valuable as it extends the reach and influence of our content via third parties. When we witnessed our #WomeninCoffee series beginning to spread through the voices of others within the community, our goals and strategy behind the series were reinforced. These stories are inspiring and motivating others to learn about the relationship between agriculture and gender equity. Ultimately, these placements are also a key indicator of how effective our content has been and in this series we saw +167% increase of use of #WomenInCoffee and #Abakundakawa hashtags (compared to the same period of time previous to the launch of this campaign).


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Starbucks Coffee Co.


Entry Credits