Coffee has proved to be a crop of both poverty and privilege. Production, trade, and consumption of coffee have greatly promoted global inequality and poverty in various ways. Coffee has established and contributed to inequality and poverty globally where coffee trade is dominated by the big powerful nations such as Britain. The price of coffee and the amount farmers receive is controlled by these Western powers. This makes the coffee farmers puppets. The price coffee farmers pay is far much below the standard amount. Coffee controls the economies of third world countries. This is as a result of the fluctuation of coffee prices. Coffee comes second after oil in the global trade’s gross value.
The fair trade movement has also contributed to global inequality and poverty. Fair trade movements help coffee farmers to acquire better conditions of trading and also by promoting sustainable development. This has helped to reduce the wide gap between the rich and the poor.
As coffee consumers and workers, the price of coffee is higher for the consumer and lower for the farmer than the normal limit. The price of ground coffee is high above the amount farmer receives the same coffee. A cup of coffee in the United States costs more than the average daily income of several small-scale farmers. Workers earn an average of about 2 dollars per day in large coffee plantations. Many of the coffee-producing nations (especially 3rd world countries in Africa such as Ethiopia) are among the poorest nations in the world economy.
These problems arising from coffee such as inequality and poverty can be dealt with or mitigated by several ways. Forming a trade union would do best to help in curbing poor wages of workers in coffee plantations, intimidation from superior nations who control coffee trade. Promoting sustainable development is also another important solution to the problem of poor economies due to price fluctuation of products in the market due to coffee superiority.
Author: Academic Master