Coffee & Child Labor

So many issues. So little time. That’s how it feels when you start really looking at coffee production. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of great companies doing really great things! They’re working hard to produce a great cup of coffee or bag of beans while simultaneously making sure their coffee producers are treated AND paid fairly. Kaloway is one of those companies!

But even with all of the companies working so hard, there’s still a long way to go. Check this out.

“Most coffee pickers are paid a “piece rate”—a set amount per unit harvested. In many cases, daily earnings may fall short of national minimum wage protections, and can lead to other forms of labor violations, such as excessive working hours without adequate breaks, overtime pay, and violations of health and safety regulations.” 1

And these low daily earnings don’t just affect the adult farmers. They also affect their children.

"When the purchase price of a bag of beans in the store is low it means the farmer is being paid very little, which “may indirectly encourage child labor as families stand to earn more by including their children in the harvesting of coffee.” 1

And this totally makes sense. If you imagine for a minute that you’re in the same boat… trying to make ends meet and put food on your table while being paid almost nothing… what would YOU do? Send your kids to school? Or keep them at home to work in the fields, so you can make more money and actually eat?

"The reason these kids are working is that their parents – and the farms they work on – are not paid enough.” 2

The good thing is that companies are being exposed for their faulty business practices, but the issue is that we, the consumers, are major contributors to the problem. When we expect to purchase coffee at dangerously low prices ($6 per pound at the store) it perpetuates the problem. There’s just not enough margin in that coffee to actually pay farmers a fair wage.

We consumers need to realize how much power is in our hands to make a change.

If we simply shift our coffee purchases to companies that ensure fair wages, can you imagine the effects?

Less families living in poverty. More kids in developing countries getting a quality education. We can take a broken world and make it better simply by purchasing different coffee!

We challenge you to make the change. Pick up a bag of Kaloway Coffee. Together let’s change the landscape of coffee farming and get these kids out of the fields and back in school!


1 https://www.scanews.coffee/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SCAA-WP-TheFarmWorker-April2016.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/01/children-work-for-pittance-to-pick-coffee-beans-used-by-starbucks-and-nespresso

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