Labour Relations of Coffee in Brazil Essay

Labour Relations of Coffee in Brazil Essay

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Brazil is known for having a very large biodiversity and having a huge portion of the Amazonian forest in its land. Yet, because of globalization, this country suffers a great deal environmentally wise and socially also. Both adults and children have to work in order to be able to survive. Many of these workers are exploited and changing this reality is quit hard. It all comes down to profits at the end: exploiting workers is much cheaper than paying them properly. At least, there are some people who are actually putting some effort on solving this problem. This is where the issue involving coffee in Brazil comes in. The actors involved in this product are either greatly benefited or exploited and the working conditions for the farmers are quit terrible. However, there are solutions that were proposed in order to protect the coffee growers such as fair trade. It is then understood that coffee production in Brazil has negative effects on coffee laborers, but to a lesser extent on those who work in the fair trade business.

The Actors
First of all, when it comes down to the actors, we mainly see three: The industries, the government and the farmers. There are many industries that buy their coffee beans from Brazil. It goes from small companies to big corporations like Nestle, Starbucks, Kraft, Sara Lee, Tim Hortons, etc. The big corporations always try to project an image of how nice they are to the producers by showing pictures of happy farmers. They try so hard to seem like they’re doing the right thing, yet, in reality, it’s the complete opposite. A good example of the issue would be to look at Nescafe, which is one of the branches owned by Nestle. According to a website called Forbes, Nescafe r...


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...or them to pay back the debt, they have to pull out money from the coffee farmers’ salary, which means farmers aren’t exactly paid the Fair-trade Minimum Price which is US$126/quintal. Coffee growers end up with US$40-85/quintal depending on how large the debt is. It is then seen that fair-trade is not the perfect solution for these poor people, yet it is better than nothing.

Although Fair trade has been presented as a solution to the exploitation of coffee laborers, it isn’t a perfect solution. Though, it is clear that its advantages outweigh its disadvantages when the suffering of the other farmers is seen. Even after those laborers were freed of slavery, they weren’t exactly treated much differently. If this is what is happening to the laborers of this commodity, what is happening to those forced to work in the industry of sugar, petroleum, tea, etc?

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Labour Relations of Coffee in Brazil Essay

- Brazil is known for having a very large biodiversity and having a huge portion of the Amazonian forest in its land. Yet, because of globalization, this country suffers a great deal environmentally wise and socially also. Both adults and children have to work in order to be able to survive. Many of these workers are exploited and changing this reality is quit hard. It all comes down to profits at the end: exploiting workers is much cheaper than paying them properly. At least, there are some people who are actually putting some effort on solving this problem....   [tags: farmers, solutions, protect, fair-trade, actors]

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