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Real Livable Wage For Coffee Workers
 
A Request in the Food Category (Cafes)
Validated by the Visionary Society Community (%, based on )
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What is a Request?

Requests are a new way to interact with the businesses and organizations you use, asking them to be more thoughtful and to change for the better.

This page is an overview of the Request as a whole. This Request is valid for any particular cafe in , but must be Activated for each one based on whether it is relevant for that Place. Use this page to find Places where it is active, or add your own Places.

 
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Request
Real livable wage for coffee workers
 
Those who grow, pick and prepare the coffee beans we buy should earn a living wage. More than 'fair trade,' these workers should be able to afford decent housing, healthy food, and more.
Cafes should work together to purchase supplies from cooperatives that can guarantee that the workers are paid fairly.


Visionary Society Principle
 

Details
 
Our cafes are clean and warm cafes, with music and conversation, comfortable chairs, and perfectly brewed coffee. But what about those who grew and picked and brought our coffee to us?
   The fair trade movement is a step in the right direction, but provides only incremental improvements in basic living conditions. Coffee workers who earn 50 cents a pound on the open market may get up to twice that with fair trade, and have access to other benefits such as bank credit.
These are certainly improvements. But how fair could it be if no Westerner—no one at all who had a choice—would work under the conditions that ‘fair trade’ workers must?      
   How do these benefits affect the actual living conditions of the workers? Though better off, they are still desperately poor. Their home is likely to be a hut, with dirt floors, without running water. Normally workers cannot afford a balanced diet, which means that they and their children may be malnourished. They have minimal medical care, and very little education. 
We need real fairness, true justice in economic relationships between those in rich and poor countries. At the least there should be a measure of equality between producers and consumers.

Additional possibilities
In spite of well-meaning efforts to purchase coffee, sugar and chocolate using Fair Trade standards, most of the profit still goes not to those who grow, but those who process and sell the products. There are few viable options for those in the less developed parts of the world who actually grow it.
We should collaborate in returning some of the power, by helping local growers to create added value.
Empower the sellers of resources to benefit from finishing the product. Support local value added factories in the places where the coffee is actually grown.
Also, why not make an effort hire workers from the countries (and actual farms) where the coffee is sold?

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