Coffee Harvest / Colheita do Café
©2006-2009 by João Paglione - all rights reserved
Just down the road from the chacara, grandpa´s ranch, there is a small coffee plantation.
They are currently harvesting the coffee beans by hand. The workers earn 5 reais (less than 2 dollars) per 60 kilogram (over 120 pounds) bag they harvest. Some <a href="workers manage to harvest several and earn 30 reais per day (which is more than the minimum wage) yet it´s backbreaking work.
Then the coffee is laid out on large concrete terraces for it to dry in the sun. Every day, I walk by this terrace and see the "sea of coffee". Sometimes there is a worker who pushes a wooden shovel to turn and rotate the coffee beans.
Have you ever held coffee in your hand? Have you felt the labor the ripped the beans of the large Arabica bush to give you a fix?
Is it fair that Starbucks charges so much for a cup of coffee, while in Central America, Brazil, Africa, Vietnam, etc the people who harvest this earn so much?
I don´t know.. what do you think?