|The logo of Fair Trade Coffee|
Nobody can deny that coffee is the most famous tea in the world. You have to pay around 4000 won to 8000 won for a cup of this famous tea; coffee. It has a similar price that we pay for a single meal. Regardless of high prices, the consumption of coffee is very high. That’s why finding coffee shops in the street is not a hard thing even when we are in the middle of nowhere. When you drink coffee, have you ever thought about the children who pick the coffee beans all day long? How much labor value do you think a cup of coffee has?
Suppose that you bought a cup of coffee at 5000 won. Then, coffee plantation can earn only 250 won and the rest of the money is given to middlemen, processors and distributors. Since coffee is known throughout the world, large companies and middlemen have bought coffee beans at a giveaway price through trade regulation that is unfavorable to the Third World coffee producers. They make excessive profits by selling coffee at a high price to consumers. On this account, 20 million people who work at coffee plantations in 50 counties are in a state of penury and many of them are children. Why can this problem continue?
First of all, children cannot grow well because of hard work over 12 hours a day. They usually carry heavy burdens. It cannot be helpful to children who are in the period of growth. Second, they do not go to school. They have no choice but to help their families. According to this, they lack opportunities to experience other things. This hinders physical growth. As they don’t go to school, they have a lower chance to get a good job. It leads to them not being able to escape from poverty. What’s worse is that poverty gets passed on to the next generation, and their children have to work like their parents. It is a vicious cycle.
‘Fair Trade Coffee’ can be one of the ways to solve this problem. Fair Trade guarantees farmers a minimum price, and links farmers directly with importers. They cut out the middlemen. Through Fair Trade, farmers earn better incomes, allowing them to get more money and improve the quality of life. Because of it, the condition is better than before but still there are many vicious enterprises that exploit farmers with past contracts. See the picture below. It is the logo of Fair Trade Coffee. When you find this logo on the coffee products, you should try to buy those products. It is one of ways to help farmers get their rightful reward. How about thinking of the Third World farmers and children when you drink coffee? If you like coffee, you should have courage to reject coffee which is sold by exploitation or unfair trade.
Jo Yu-na -
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