“we need to educate the coffee industry”

Last week in Brazil, during a workshop we organized to identify improvements on the Fair Trade standards and processes, coffee farmers and workers from three countries discussed how we could be more effective in educating the coffee industry and consumers about the challenges and opportunities that farmworkers in coffee face every day. To learn more …

Working for quality of coffee and quality of life

Eliover Garcia, a foreman at Hacienda Venecia in Colombia, has been working in the coffee fields since he was 8 years old. His humble origins make Eliover fully appreciate everything in life. “Working on the coffee fields has allowed me to put food on our table and satisfy my family’s basic need, for which I’m …

Sustainable coffee isn’t cheap – the cost for farmworkers

Coffee pickers, migrant workers, and farmworkers, in general, may be the most vulnerable groups involved in coffee production; however, they have traditionally not been included in the coffee industry’s sustainability efforts. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor discovered widespread labor violations in coffee farms in Hawaii.  Violations included “failures to pay workers minimum wage …

Griselda meets coffee pickers in El Salvador

This is a guest post shared by Griselda Barraza.  Griselda is my colleague at Fair Trade USA and she recently visited one of the coffee farms interested in participating in our pilots. During the holiday break, I went to El Salvador to visit my family.  I took one day to visit a coffee farm in …

the labor behind our cups of coffee

If the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil were a country, it would be the largest coffee producing country in the world.  That’s how much coffee is grown in Minas.  Of the 280,000 people involved in the production of coffee in the state in 2009, over 230,000 were farm workers according to the Brazilian Institute …

why I work with farm workers

In my first job out of college, I lived and worked on a banana farm outside of Quevedo, Ecuador, the city where my father grew up.  It was the year of El Niño, and it rained incessantly.  The workers and I spent days and nights ‘fighting’ the rain to ensure the banana trucks could make …

who knows best what’s best for you?

When I first heard about the washing machines, I thought, “Really?” I  used to hear about so many other ways to spend Fair Trade premium funds….like healthcare programs, scholarships for children, etc…. that it surprised me to hear that the farm workers on this Fair Trade flower farm in Cotopaxi, Ecuador, had chosen to buy washing …

farm workers versus small farmers?

When I traveled to Costa Rica last week, I met several coffee farm workers.  Many of the farm workers in Costa Rica come from Nicaragua.  I was told that of the close to 5 million people living in Costa Rica, around 800,000 are Nicaraguans. Many of them work in coffee, sugar cane, bananas and many other …