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Myths about labor abuse in the coffee industry


The coffee industry is facing many challenges in terms of labor abuse. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), unsafe working conditions, policy risks and risks, child exploitation and inequality are causing injustice and danger to workers. work in all stages of the coffee supply chain. Many workers also bear mental risks such as high stress due to deprivation, and financial instability. Moreover, the large number of informal workers has increased, and the policy in the contract is unclear and unfair, causing injustice to workers.. Find out with 43 Factory Coffee Roaster the potential dangers of the problem. this topic!


Misperceptions about labor abuse in the coffee industry


Civil society organization Verité (CSO) has studied forced labor and child labor in the coffee industry in many countries. The report shows that the situation of violations on these two issues in Latin American countries is at an alarming level. But according to information on the current press channels, the situation of labor abuse in the coffee industry in these countries is at a safe level.

The reason for this deviation is that the information channels are often based on published reports of the government or the press of NGOs on labor violations. However, these sources in countries with weak institutions that do not pay much attention to the situation of labor violations are often incomplete and inaccurate. This could lead to continued labor abuses in these countries that go unnoticed, pushing workers and farmers in these countries further into poverty, and jeopardizing their future. future of the whole industry

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Labor abuse continues to increase because of information asymmetry


In countries that are concerned about the labor situation, the press and civil society organizations that will be more active in identifying and disclosing information about labor violations will be assessed as higher risk. That who do not actively report are assessed Countries as a lower risk because the media does not. Furthermore, as labor violations have been detected in countries with strong institutions, key stakeholders are more aware and tend to take more preventive actions, leading to reduced real risks. economy over time. Meanwhile, in countries where labor violations have not been identified, a lack of actionable data can lead to a potential risk of labor abuses in countries where violations have not yet been reported. brake. Besides, if the enterprises in the supply chain do not know the actual situation of the coffee industry in the producing countries, they can help the producers to violate the labor policy, causing the workers to lose money. increasingly exhausted from being exploited.

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Labor abuse violations cannot be assessed through the media alone


A risk assessment based solely on negative news reports or public labor violations can be counterproductive. These reports tend to come from government documents, statistics, labor inspectors, or from press and civil society surveys. Countries with transparent governments and strong civil society tend to have more information about labor violations. They invest heavily in labor inspection and public data sharing while allowing the press and civil society to freely research labor issues. Relying solely on these sources can cause an “Echo Chamber” effect. In particular, labor violations in a certain country or field will be repeated again and again by international media and NGOs. Meanwhile, labor issues elsewhere are ignored. Criticizing companies and governments regarding labor violations can encourage them to take action. But the press and NGOs often don’t talk about the improvements that have been made. A long-rumored “bad reputation” but unrecognized “good news” can discourage governments from disclosing or inspecting data and make companies reluctant to disclose information about businesses and the labor situation. their supply.

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Solutions to address potential risks of labor abuse


The main reason leading to the problem of labor abuse in the coffee industry that cannot be solved at the root is misinformation. Therefore, it is important to conduct an assessment of labor violations throughout the supply chain based on published information on labor violations and representative indicators measuring all countries. on an equal basis.

Verité’s U.S. Department of Labor-funded Free Liberal Equity (COFFEE) Partnership Project has created the RE-ACT Dashboard for a more objective, accurate Open Source Risk assessment. The RE-ACT Dashboard is based on the collection, comparison and detailed analysis of data on risks of forced labor, child labor, human rights violations and livelihoods of workers and farmers in 17 leading coffee-producing countries in Latin America. Data sources include the poverty index, child enrollment rate, minimum child labor age, human trafficking ranking, union density rate, and percentage of agricultural laborers employed in the country. formal sector, labor rights compliance and the number of murdered human rights defenders.

Without providing risk scores for countries like conventional platforms, the RE-ACT Dashboard provides actionable data on risk factors and root causes. This helps stakeholders (government, non-profit organizations, businesses, ..) can implement interventions to solve problems instead of just applying response-based measures. a single risk score based primarily on scanning the media.

In addition, the data from the RE-ACT Dashboard form a system with a more comprehensive, reflective approach that allows companies, civil society organizations and government agencies to proactively focus Efforts should be made to address specific root causes and reduce existing abuses in countries that might otherwise have been targeted.

With this information in hand, companies can conduct more targeted audits, assessments, and research to determine if specific issues exist in their supply chains and act accordingly. Take proactive measures to protect workers in their supply chains from exploitation before they face reputational damage or legal consequences.

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