Coffee is one of the most lucrative products in the international trade of agricultural goods. Consumers are willing to spend a lot of money on fancy coffee - and still the economic pressure on the growers increases, e.g. in Honduras. The income of the producers is in more than half of the cases below minimum wage and does not suffice for a decent living. Seasonal workers are employed without a contract, overtime is not paid. Lack of protective clothing against pesticides and lack of trade union representation round off the enjoyment of the western industrialized nation.
The labor-intensive plant is harvested by hand almost everywhere and in more than 70% of cases by small farmers, who are played off against each other by roasters and retailers. While farmers are subject to unstable and low coffee prices in the global market, corporations compete for the lion's share of the value chain.
Who receives the money?
The money is transfered to an independent monitoring organization in Honduras. It was set up to independently monitor the implementation of social and environmental standards in multinational companies and factories. It promotes an improvement in the living conditions of export workers through its reviews and verifications of international human and labor standards and codes of conduct. Other areas of the work include conducting theoretical and empirical studies on working conditions in Honduran factories and on plantations whose goods are also destined for the European market. The results are the basis of public relations, which serves to publicize grievances, to demand social corporate responsibility and to enable a work in dignity.
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