Coffee has not only impacted the world socially, but it provides financial means for many countries who export their coffee beans.
I researched Metropolis Coffee Company and the sourcing process that their beans took to get into their shop. In this case, the coffee beans were sourced from countries across South America and Africa. This exercise displayed how we directly influence other people in society through our consumerism. More so, this exercise raises concern to the issues surrounding low wages towards the workers of these food products as well as harsh work conditions they are exposed to. If we were aware of our consumer influence for supporting ethical companies, we could effectively work to support companies whose product comes from an ethical means of
According to Lyon, Bezaury, & Mutersbaugh (2010), Fair-trade is a “process which helps improve the well-being and economic stability of disempowered farmers, by using certified commodity-chains to foster development”. For the KHC company, Fair-trade is essential because they want to provide and endorse exceptional coffee beans that they are proud to use; that means, “using coffee that is good and fair for both our coffee drinkers and for farmers are essential” (Kicking Horse Coffee, n.d.). In fact, over the past 20 years, Kicking Horse won numerous awards in many categories, including Canada’s Fastest- Growing Companies, Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs, Canada's Favourite Fair-trade Product and number 15 Best Workplace in Canada (Kicking Horse Coffee, n.d.).
From the New York Times the article: “Coffee’s Economics, Rewritten by Farmers”, illustrates how Kenneth Lander, a lawyer in Monroe, moved with his family to a coffee farm in San Rafael de Abangares, Costa Rica. Mr. Lander was looking for a more balanced life between work and his lifestyle. Mr. Lander started growing his own coffee from 12 acres of land that yielded 6,000 pounds of specialty-grade coffee beans a year. But in 2008, his financials started to dwindle, and he quickly struggled to support his family. Farmers in his similar financial situation usually turned to organizations like Fairtrade International who typically bailed them out, but for Mr. Lander, he sought out innovative ideas. He began to roast his own beans and sell them
In chapter seven, it was stated that the coffee shop company do not completely buy from the small-time farmers. In case regarding towards Rwanda, a developing area where Starbucks supposedly performs fair trade, it was discovered that Starbucks buy their coffee beans from bigger plantations and the middle man, who buys coffee beans from small-time farmers usually scamming them (216). This creation of image of Starbucks being a good corporate business in helping the small time farmers earn more income is contracted by Simon’s findings, and shows that the coffee company is actually taking advantage of the small time farmers, when Starbucks buys from the middle man or the big plantation owners, it pay less for the coffee beans than they do if Starbucks purchases beans from small-time farmers. The greed of Starbucks at the expense of the individual farmers is unethical, yet the coffee shop company markets the contradiction.
In looking at the history of coffee through the book Uncommon Grounds, we have seen coffee move throughout the world. Coffee originated in Ethiopia and grown wildly that was discovered by a goat name Kaldi. It was first eaten as a berry, then boiled, then roasted and finally, grinded to what we now know drink today and have created new ways to drink it as well. Coffee is the second most traded commodity and is grown in the Southern Hemisphere and consumed in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in the United States, it is evident that Americans love their coffee and drink it many times throughout the day. It can be argued that the “world coffee supply would continue to grow, stimulated in large part by the seemingly bottomless American coffee cup.”
The United States consumes “2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, or over 11 pounds per person. Americans eat an average of 22 pounds of candy each year”(The Chocolate Store). Because the United States consumes an exuberant amount of chocolate, the nation poses an insurmountable influence on the processes of the chocolate industry. Fair Trade strives to ensure the safety of workers in the chocolate industry, allow workers to make liveable profits and most importantly, This corporation ensures that no child labor was used in the process of harvesting the cocoa. Not only does Fair Trade aid in helping cocoa farmers achieve a higher quality of life, but the majority of Fair Trade efforts improve education for children while keeping them out of the plantations and in the classroom. Fair Trade premiums provide money to families who desperately need birth certificates for their children because “if a family does not obtain a birth certificate within the child’s first few months of life, it can be very expensive and burdensome to obtain one” and many schools require birth certificates to enroll (Huffington Post). Fair Trade premiums also allow for more schools to be built in areas abundant with cocoa plantations (Huffington Post). Even though Fair Trade certified chocolate is more expensive than uncertified products, basic human rights have no dollar amount. The extra money paid for Fair Trade certified chocolate goes to aiding children in breaking free from a cycle poverty, which would otherwise be endless. The few more coins spent on Fair Trade chocolate provides hope to those bound in slavery to the world’s
Fair trade is a movement that strives for fair treatment for farmers and it’s main goal is to reduce poverty in the developing nations. Fair trade strives for social justice and Brewing Justice analyzes indigenous coffee farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico to see if the fair trade is an important movement for the farmers. We are brought into the households of workers to see the social movements, economic and cultural survival, and environmental effects of fair trade. Author Daniel Jaffee spent months deep in Mexico to see how Fair Trade affected the coffee crops of societies and shares stories of his experiences to help support his claim that Fair Trade is not a solution to the growing numbers of families in poverty who grow coffee.
There are 226 fairtrade certified producer organizations in 74 countries. Moreover, small producer organizations spent 31% of their fairtrade premium on investments supporting productivity or quality of improvements and on plantations, workers spent 26% of their fairtrade premium on education. So Fair Trade starts the path for many other advancements. Some examples of products that are Fair Trade Certified are Stacy’s Pita Chips, Brownie Brittle, and the Whole Foods Market grocery store. There are many Fair Trade Certified companies all over the world, a handful of which include Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Fair Indigo, Fairhills Wine, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Theo Chocolate. Blends for Life, and Rishi Tea. All of these products are sold in local grocery stores and food markets. In order to incorporate these products into our daily life we have to make objective decisions and research the specific foods, and products we are buying everyday. By taking the time to find specific products that are Fair Trade Certified we not only benefit the worker we also benefit the environment and ourselves by supporting a morally conscious
Coffee is the second most globally traded commodity second only to oil therefore the market is extremely large. This leads to a huge coffee farming industry. In recent years, there has been a large push for awareness of the process a product undergoes to get to the consumer. My family and I sincerely enjoy freshly roasted coffee. My mother and father were recently in Panama and decided to purchase a coffee farm with the goal of creating a sustainable retirement home for themselves in the future. They also became aware of the issues surrounding the workers who live and work on the farms in the area and decided that one of their goals would be to provide fair housing and pay for the workers on their farm. I was inspired
Coffee is one of the most profitable and most traded commodities on the planet. It is second in trade to that of oil and gas. There are so many issues that surround this product, otherwise known as black gold. Coffee growers typically only get around three cents from over $1.50 cup of coffee that is sold in the United States. The world surrounding coffee is not fair. There are so many problems that arise because of its lack of fair trade. According to the United Nations, women do around two thirds of the work are only rewarded five percent of the world’s income and own less than one percent of the world’s real property. Coffee is a luxury food that many people take for granted and because of that, a large portion of coffee growers and their workers are exploited leading to the lack of fair trade.
In “Free Trade, Fair Trade, and Coffee Farmers in Ethiopia,” written by Daniel Lee and Elizabeth Lee, they discuss the hardships that Ethiopian coffee farmers face. Ethiopia, being one of the poorest countries in the world, depends heavily on their production of coffee. With a population of 78 million, over 15 million participate in the world coffee production. Despite Ethiopian coffee being labeled as one of the best in the world, there is no substantial protection for farmers when the price of coffee
Many Canadians start their day with a cup of coffee, taking for granted how the coffee bean was grown, harvested, packaged and shipped to their coffee provider to then roast and prepare for us to purchase for as little as $1.50 per cup. Today coffee is the most important product in the Fair Trade market affecting over five hundred thousand producers and workers. The Fair Trade label can be traced back to 1988 originating from a church based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) from the Netherlands that began an initiative to ensure coffee growers and pickers would receive sufficient wages for their work. The NGO created the fair trade label called Max Havelaar. Following this, similar organizations followed
Costa Rica now provided raw material for Starbucks which accounted for about 15 percent of the total coffee beans Starbucks needed every year. Costa Rica as one of the raw material suppliers plays an important role in global value chain. Coffee has played a pivotal role in the development of Costa Rica. It has shaped social, cultural and political institutions and is still one of country’s major agricultural exports. (Anywhere, 2016) The global value chain in this coffee industry can be described that Starbucks, the centre in this coffee global value chain, purchasing raw materials (coffee beans) from coffee farms in Costa Rica, reprocessing and reproducing in retail shops, selling the finished products (various kinds of coffee) to customers in the world.
The film highlights the fact that coffee is the most valued word commodity, second to oil. The beginning of the film shows the process in which coffee is made- from bean harvesting by workers in Ethiopia who make next to nothing, through several intermediated stages, and into the market. Although we spend countless amounts of money on coffee without thinking twice, the price that coffee farmers who produce this commodity are getting paid, is disgustingly low. Some of them have even been forced to walk away from their fields. There is no better place to see this