Darkest Truth Behind the Coffee you Get from Starbucks and Nespresso
Our morning starts with coffee, we need it when we feel stressed or excited too, many meetings get fixed over a coffee these days. Sometimes its smell is enough to energize us. Coffee has become an integral part of our lives, for some people, it’s an addiction. There is variety of coffee’s derivatives available in the market. But, have you ever thought how a cup filled with coffee is served on your table? The coffee making process involves various stages from its farming to brewing and serving.
In recent years, it is observed that awareness regarding the numerous health benefits associated with the coffee have influenced the consumers for its consumption. Decreasing demand for carbonated beverages and rising popularity of franchise outlets such as Starbucks, McCafe, and CCD etc. are some of the main factors that are driving the market.
Also, the coffee beans have been used in various sectors such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food & beverages generating the expansion of its retail market around the globe. It is expected that the coffee bean market will expand at a CAGR of approximately 6.7% by 2025.
With these beneficial factors, the industry has some darkest truths too. Recently, cases of child labor have been discovered at the coffee farms. Investigations revealed that children below the age of 13-year were seen working on the farms in Guatemala that supply the beans to coffee giants Starbucks and Nespresso.
The team of Channel 4’s Dispatches filmed work of children and it revealed that each kid works for over 40-hour in a week in grueling conditions. Their payment is based on the weight of the beans they pick. Typically, a child earns less than £5/day and sometimes it is less than 31p/hour. Last week, actor George Clooney, a brand ambassador for Nespresso, demanded investigations in the matter.
While expressing the feelings, Clooney said, “Having grown up working on a tobacco farm from the time I was 12, I’m uniquely aware of the complex issues regarding farming and child labor,” said Clooney in a statement “Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done.”
Regarding the situation, the Nespresso CEO, Guillaume Le Cunff said in a statement, “Any issues we uncover will be dealt with diligently and firm action will be taken. We work with Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade International to reinforce good working practices and fair treatment of workers, including education on the dangers of child labor.”
“We will continue to do all we can to stamp child labor out. It has no place in our supply chain”, he added.
Child labor is not only issue that the industry has. It has been seen that the coffee farmers have always suffered a lot in retail chain by receiving very small fraction of the price for their crop. As per the data, global coffee prices collapsed to their lowest in 13 years in September 2019.
But, many tech companies are coming forward to improve transparency in supply chain and deliver more value for makers. One such company is iFinca. Its platform streamlines trade to deliver appropriate value to coffee farmers and provides companies with full traceability to the farmgate price. Alexander Barrett, CEO of iFinca said, "If we're going to make sure farmers get what they need to produce coffee sustainably, we need to figure out how to better distribute value.” iFinca's blockchain platform validates all transactions from the first delivery of parchment all the way to the cafe. The consumers are able to access details about their coffee, including the price received by the farmer, when they scan a QR code at the point of sale.
Fall in the price for coffee beans is raising questions for the farmers in some of the traditional coffee heartlands of Colombia, Ethiopia and Central America about whether it’s worth to grow coffee beans. As experts predict that this issue may affect the growth of rising coffee market.
Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.