The coffee farmer crisis

Henry Calvo screamed into a megaphone as he led a protest outside a Bogota Starbucks in September to demand better prices for coffee growers, like himself.

Wearing a straw hat and a T-shirt depicting the famous Starbucks mermaid as a skeleton, Calvo led angry chants against “imperialist” companies that he accuses of ripping off coffee farmers.

With $6 lattes now the norm at places like Starbucks, it may not seem like coffee is getting cheaper. But the price that most farmers around the world get for their coffee beans has dropped by half over the past five years, and is forcing many to switch their crops, migrate to other countries, or continue to produce their beans under belt-tightening circumstances.


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