While developed countries celebrated International Coffee Day on 1 October, the reality in the mountains where the beans are grown is very difficult for farmers and their families. There is hunger, malnutrition, widespread child labor and extreme poverty in the coffee lands, while the coffee industry accumulates tens of billions of dollars in profits every year. It is a neocolonial business that concentrates the profits in "the north" with a very high and unacceptable human cost for the producing countries.
Revenue of over 30 billion* dollars per year is being lost by coffee growers struggling to survive in the coffee belt around the world because of the artificially low "market price" (Swissploitation). *Estimates of revenue losses for all coffee producers due to the coffee price are based on the 1983 coffee price adjusted for inflation.
The mighty coffee multinationals are now paying the increasingly poor coffee farmers 60 percent less per pound of coffee in real terms than in 1983. The current coffee price of $ 1.28 per lb is equal to just 52 cents in 1983. The price of coffee in 1983 was US$ 1.20 to US$ 1.40 per lb, under the International Coffee Agreement. That inflation-adjusted amount would now equate to a price per pound of coffee of between $ 2.95 & $ 3.44, well above the current $ 1.28 per lb. The so-called "Fair Trade", "UTZ" or "Ethical Coffee" has a price per pound for the coffee farmer of less than 50% of what farmers received 34 years ago, in 1983. This coffee is neither fair nor ethical nor sustainable.
To put an end to this situation of economic injustice we in CAFE FOR CHANGE are working tirelessly to create and implement We Share International, a transparent Shared Value system with compensation of at least 10CtsPerCup of coffee consumed in developed countries. This transparent Shared Value mechanism will allow consumers to compensate producers directly to help eradicate child labor and extreme poverty in rural communities where coffee, tea and cocoa are grown, as well as creating a rural middle class as a result of the farmers’ work.
The current business models of the coffee, tea and cocoa industries were created so that small and medium sized farmers, farm workers and their children will never achieve prosperity.
Developed country governments talk a great deal about their unrestricted support for the defense of Human Rights, their respect for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, their commitment to help others achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, etc., but every cup of coffee, tea and chocolate that they consume proves that they practice and encourage the exploitation of the weakest with false campaigns of "Fairtrade", "Development Aid" and "sustainability", which also defraud the consumers who finance them with their taxes .
Compensating producers in rural communities with transparent Shared Value of at least 10CtsPerCup is not an act of charity, or "development aid." It's an act of justice.