The importance of coffee to the nations that grow it cannot be underestimated. This crop supports over 25 million farmers worldwide and generates the income needed to maintain governments' ability to supply essential social services like health and education.
But producing coffee is hard work. It involves carrying heavy loads, often on steep slopes. The industry depends heavily on migrant labour and seasonal workers that are often housed in conditions that would not be considered decent from a human rights lens. Many workers receive low wages that aren't consistent with achieving a basic standard of decency in life. Understanding how to address this issue means accounting for a complicated supply chain where coffee often changes hands dozens of times before reaching the consumer.
The collaboration of Global Living Wage Coalition members, particularly Fairtrade International and the Rainforest Alliance/UTZ, on living wage for the coffee sector aims to overcome these issues and provide a better life for workers.