Arzaq - CEO and Professional Cupper, creating a bright future for women in coffee
Arzaq Al-Najjar, is the Executive Director and owner of Mocha Valley, a company specializing in coffee quality studies, training, and tests.
The idea was sparked when she noticed a knowledge gap about Yemeni coffee. Wanting to bring Yemen the recognition and appreciation it deserves as the home of coffee drinking and the source of some of the world’s finest coffee, Arzaq left a corporate life, and began her entrepreneurial journey. After only a few short years, Mocha Valley is producing research for global audiences and working to find solutions to some of the key problems facing the sector.
"I saw that there are very few women working in the coffee sector. Most are working in agriculture, picking the harvest." describes Arzaq.
Mocha Valley's goal is to motivate and encourage more women to join the coffee sector, including to become cuppers, responsible for grading specialty coffee. At Mocha valley, most of the team are women trained to cup and grade.
"We are trying to encourage more women to join us, whether as cuppers, trainees, trainers, or even at the agricultural level," says Arzaq.
When Mocha Valley started, Arzaq struggled to muster support for her project. But Arzaq worked hard to demonstrate her skills, knowledge, and passion, garnering great attention and respect from Yemen’s coffee growers, processors, traders, and drinkers.
"I am really looking forward to having more women in the coffee sector and having equal opportunities. Together, women and men can develop the coffee sector in Yemen. My message to every human being is to never feel hopeless, you must have a goal, work on your skills and yourself! You will face many difficulties, but do not stop, continue and grow stronger!"
Learn more about Yemeni Coffee and Arzaq’s journey with Mocha Valley.