Friday, 16 February 2007

Coffee Politics

One of the stories I've been following is the trademark dispute between the Ethiopian coffee growers and Starbucks who are blocking the attempts to register the names.

"Ethiopian coffee growers sell their produce to Starbucks earned between 75 cents and 1.60 USD a pound on beans that Starbucks sold at up to 26 USD a pound." So much for Fairtrade - there isn't a lot of it around with the political and economic power of multi-nationals. Starbucks have offered to buy twice as much coffee next year, but no mention of paying a little more for it.
Coffee Politics

There is a film coming out in May called "Black Gold". It may get a screening in Manchester, it had a sold out showing at Westminster in an event organised by the Co-operative Party. The film is about the Ethiopian growers trying to get a fair price for their coffee. Black Gold Movie. Trailer available.

Also of interest is coffee grown on the other side of the world. The Finca Project which is
"the life and travels of a coffee bean as it is grown in Costa Rica and makes its way up to the United States to be consumed." It starts with the growers selling to the Coope Pueblos Cooperative.

For those of us who used to drink Nicaraguan coffee as part of the Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign back in the 1980's there was good story in the Belfast Telegraph this week about how the coffee growers there have benefited from 35 years of fairtrade prices. Link. Fair Trade does make a difference.