How much do cafe workers earn

coffeeNo five cent Per Cup For Coffee farmers

Selling coffee is a billion dollar business. The workers on the plantations get the least from this.

The President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, has just complained about the situation of coffee farmers in his country. He does the math: For a cup of coffee that sells for $ 3.50, the coffee producers on the plantation would get less than five cents. This means that the workers on the coffee plantations earn the least from the popular pick-me-up. And that increases poverty.

Plantation owners earn more, as do traders and roasters, says Armin Valet from the Hamburg Consumer Center: "You calculate: five percent of the price we pay in the supermarket goes to the wages of the workers."

"At almost 50 percent, taxes, duties and freight costs make up the largest share of the coffee price."
Armin Valet, Hamburg Consumer Center

Plantation owners earn more, as do traders and roasters, says Armin Valet of the Hamburg Consumer Center: "You count five percent of the price we pay in the supermarket, goes towards the wages of the workers." It looks better with fair trade coffee: almost 30 percent of a pack that you buy in the supermarket goes to the coffee farmers.

"You can drink at least ten at home for one coffee you buy on the go."
Sebastian Sonntag, Deutschlandfunk Nova

The coffee business is worthwhile, says Deutschlandfunk-Nova reporter Sebastian Sonntag: "When it has reached the western world, coffee is by far the drink with the largest profit margin that can be sold like this." If you want the coffee farmer to get a fair share of your coffee at home, you can look out for the Fairtrade seal in the supermarket.

Fairtrade and Gepa seals help

"The Fairtrade seal is a very good indicator," says Armin Valet from the consumer center. "This guarantees the farmers that they get so much that they can make a living from and that there is no child labor." And Gepa is the largest importer of fair trade goods in Europe and, according to Armin Valet from the consumer advice center, also recommendable.

Not all seals help the farmers

But there are also seals that at first glance convey a good feeling, but are of no use to the coffee farmers. "You have to be careful with the 'Rainforest Alliance' seal," says Armin Valet. Here emphasis is placed on the environment, but the farmers do not get more money or at least minimum wages. "The organization is sometimes criticized for the fact that the guidelines are weak and not checked so well," explains the consumer advocate.

If you want to be on the safe side, treat yourself to a coffee with a Fairtrade label plus an organic label. Then it is guaranteed that the coffee has been produced sustainably, also taking environmental aspects into account, says Armin Valet. However: even organic coffee has a pretty lousy carbon footprint. After all, it has to be transported halfway around the world before it ends up in our cup.

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