The Dark Side of Coffee: Child Labor and Modern Slavery


Most people think that the coffee they buy from their local grocery store or favorite “patriotic coffee company” is ethically sourced. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Shockingly, more than 60 percent of all coffee sold in the United States comes from sources that are not ethical and often exploit workers and their communities.

The production of coffee involves a complex supply chain involving numerous countries and thousands of individuals. Within this system, human suffering can easily go unnoticed as companies strive to maximize profits at any cost. Companies may be unaware of how their coffee is sourced or simply ignore it in order to remain competitive in today’s market.

One of the biggest problems with unethical sourcing is child labor and exploitation of vulnerable populations within developing countries where most coffee beans are grown. In some cases, children as young as six years old are forced into working long hours for little to no pay in hazardous conditions, exposing them to pesticides and other dangerous chemicals used during cultivation.

Sources say a huge percentage of children in coffee-growing countries fall victim to labor exploitation in coffee cultivation. Facing demanding quotas, workers often bring their children to help in the field in order to earn a living wage. The U.S. Department of Labor reports an estimated 34,131 children laborers growing coffee in Vietnam, 12,526 of which are under the age of 15. The same report finds almost 5,000 children under 14 working on coffee plantations in Brazil, often without a contract or protective equipment. In Côte d’Ivoire, children are subject to human trafficking and forced labor. Children are forcibly transported to coffee plantations from nearby countries including Benin, Mali, Togo and Burkina Faso and recruited to work for little or no pay, often for three or four years until they could return home. Threats of violence and withheld payments prevent them from leaving the farms, and many suffer from denial of food and sick leave.

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Children don’t just work on farms but also help process beans in factories using grinding machines that could cause serious injury if mishandled or due to extended exposure to hazardous substances such as green coffee bean hulls, which contain caffeine dust particles that can lead to respiratory diseases when inhaled by unprotected workers over long periods of time.

Another issue related to unethical sourcing is low wages paid to farmers who may be struggling financially due to rising costs associated with farming while still needing access basic necessities like food and shelter for themselves and their families—all while trying make ends meet under difficult circumstances imposed by large corporations looking for cheap labor instead of fair compensation for quality products produced locally with respect for human rights laws established by international standards organizations like Fairtrade International (FLO).

It’s easy for us consumers living comfortably in first world countries forget about these issues since we think we have little control over what goes on behind closed doors—but there are ways we can help support ethical sourcing initiatives both domestically and abroad through responsible buying practices.

One way you can ensure you’re drinking ethically-sourced coffee is by purchasing Java Boost from CupaHealth – a company dedicated to providing quality, organic coffees from smallholder farmers who are properly compensated for their hard work!

And get this, their coffee promotes weight loss!

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Java Boost contains only 100% organic Arabica beans that have been carefully selected according to strict parameters set forth by Fair Trade USA’s sustainability guidelines — guaranteeing traceability back down every stage along its supply chain right up until your cup!

By making ethical choices when it comes our daily consumption habits–we can play a role shaping tomorrow’s future today! So let’s join forces with CupaHealth and start making positive changes now before it’s too late – because they deserve a chance to live a better life, free of exploitation & oppression fueled by corporate greed masquerading business ethics.

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