Coffee and Power Essay

Coffee and Power Essay

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There is a lot of literature that attributes the failure of coffee farms in Central America to the lack of fair-trade law, effective protection from international organizations, the abuses of colonial powers and their repercussions, and the impact of globalization. Based on the finding of the presented research there is a significant connection between the failure of coffee farms and the lasting impact of abusive colonial powers, or Dutch disease. There are definitely issues of fair-trade, globalization, and international organizations but they are not as impactful.
Fair-trade is often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about small coffee bean farmers and the coffee crisis. Fair-trade practices encourage the international trading community to use sustainable business practices that will ensure the livelihoods and development of small, independent coffee farmers (Utting 2009). Research shows that fair-trade efforts are attempting to alleviate the coffee crisis and have had little to no negative impact on Central American coffee farmers. Fair-trade practices are designed to provide farmers with a fair price for their produce. Coffee shops that sell fair-trade coffee beans charge extra but unfortunately the coffee farmers do not see the financial return from the fair-trade coffee (Sick 2009). There has been considerable media and hype of the ‘green’ or fair-trade coffee bean and how the collapse of the fair-trade coffee beans is the cause for the coffee industry. Consumer misconception has actually resulted in an oversupply of the coffee beans which only creates an even greater drop in coffee prices. But even consumer misconception about fair-trade coffee can be ruled out as a major cause for the crisis because Cent...


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...tion and has left a wound that Central America has never fully overcome. The villain of the coffee crisis is undoubtedly colonialism and its exploitation. Dutch disease has crippled Central America’s economy today that the majority of Central American states are considered third world and undeveloped. Globalization is not off the hook however for globalization was of the original catalyst that started the wildfire of Dutch disease. There is no way to be certain but it is likely that Central America economy and the coffee production industry more specifically have been so crippled by Dutch disease that ending exploitation may not be enough. The crippled coffee producing industry remains in a coffee crisis long after decolonization and the efforts of international organization and fair-trade policies are make a deep impact. What will it take to end the coffee crisis?

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