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Crises with coffee growers and how to solve them


What are the crises with coffee growers and the solutions offered to companies? Any industry has time to face crises, including coffee. Those who are directly affected by the decline are farmers.


Crises with coffee growers


Coffee growers face many different crises from climate, diseases to people.


Epidemic and climate crises with coffee growers


Coffee farmers have struggled to cope with fluctuating coffee prices, crop diseases, climate change and pandemic-related disruptions before suffering inflation and soaring fertilizer costs.

The well-documented effects of climate change on coffee farmers include large fluctuations in temperature and rainfall, and increased spread of plant pests and diseases. It has even been shown to have an effect on coffee quality.

According to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), if new technologies are not adopted to mitigate the effects of climate change in coffee-producing regions, Central America will lose about 38-89% of its land. The land is currently suitable for coffee production. The development and implementation of new technologies to help coffee farmers cope with the impacts of climate change will likely lead to additional investments and increased production costs for farmers.

Crises with coffee growers


Labor shortage crisis, lowering working age


The COVID-19 pandemic has added some additional burden, with curfews, closures and travel restrictions contributing to severe labor shortages in some areas. This has led key actors in some countries, such as Colombia, to call for a lowering of the minimum age for child labor in the coffee sector.

Furthermore, the war in Ukraine has contributed to an exponential increase in fertilizer prices, especially for coffee-producing countries like Colombia, Nicaragua and Honduras that source fertilizers from Ukraine, Russia, and Western European countries. is different. As fertilizer costs rose more than 40% in the relevant Latin American markets, farmers saw their meager profits evaporate.

Crises with coffee growers


Impact of crises on coffee growers’ lives


These changes cause negative impacts on farmers themselves, specifically:

– Salary reduction, including reduction of product rate or increase of working hours without a salary increase

– Cut workers’ benefits, food and/or housing

– Forced overtime and/or unpaid work to compensate for reduced production and profits

Reliance on labor brokers to recruit, hire and supervise workers in the face of labor shortages

– In Latin America, several countries have reported increased labor shortages in coffee-producing regions. These shortfalls can be attributed to a variety of factors, including low wages and unattractive working and living conditions.

Labor shortages often lead to more migrant workers, which increases reliance on labor brokers to recruit workers from remote communities. As Verité has documented in several publications, the use of labor brokers increases the risk of labor rights violations if appropriate controls are not in place.

Employers, who are typically paid according to the number of workers employed, are encouraged to hire as many workers as possible. This can lead to misleading workers about their working conditions. It can also lead to the recruitment of inexperienced farm workers, which can adversely affect coffee yield and quality, in addition to the legal and reputational risks faced by farmers. coffee can be encountered if their employers are involved in labor violations.

Crises with coffee growers


How to solve crises with coffee growers


Coffee companies are responsible for solving crises to pull the development graph of the whole industry as well as stabilize the lives of farmers.

Companies need to first identify and improve their understanding of labor problems and their root causes, and then work with and support farmers and other stakeholders to prevent and reduce them. minimize labor problems

How can coffee companies effectively assist farmers in identifying, addressing and preventing labor risks?

– Engage stakeholders and partners. Through stakeholder identification and engagement, coffee companies and farmers will be in a better position to gather information, build capacity, understand risks and identify opportunities. for meaningful interventions.

– Assess risks and impacts. This can be done through a human rights impact assessment or other similar assessment of the potential and actual impacts that the coffee company directly or indirectly contributes. Information from this activity can help companies and farmers prioritize interventions.

– Incorporating human rights due diligence into management systems. This may include creating and disseminating supplier engagement policies (also known as codes of conduct), updating sourcing methods, or training procurement teams on information should seek from potential suppliers to best assess human rights risks, among other strategies. Developing and communicating clear expectations throughout one’s supply chain is the foundation of a human rights due diligence system.

– Focus on supporting solving major labor risks. Depending on the context of each region, this may include working with suppliers and other stakeholders to address labor issues and root causes such as product pay. and production quotas, mandatory and unpaid overtime, the use of unregulated labor brokers or other related issues.

Crises with coffee growers

Above, 43 Factory Coffee Roaster has sent to readers the current status of the effects of nature, diseases, and humans that farmers have to face as well as ways to solve this problem of businesses.

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