From: Stewart Wilson (
Date: 20 Sep 2005

Ken Harrinton wrote:

> Red Jungle is set in present day Guatemala. The coffee crisis there is on going.
> The Crisis is due to a lot of factors, but the most important one is the fact
> that many other countries have recently gone into coffee production,
so there
> is much more production in the world than, say, before 1980. Believe
it or not,
> these new producers, like Vietnam, produce coffee even cheaper than producers in
> Latin America can, in part because the Vietnamese pay their workers
even less.
> The coffee crisis has generated a reaction in consumer countries like America,
> Germany and France etc. creating consumer groups that "label" coffee as
> "sustainable" meaning the workers who helped produce it are being
> fairly by employers, given health care, a decent wages etc. This is a
> thing, it helps workers in very concrete ways.

You didn't mention the causes at all in RED JUNGLE, only the effect. However, knowing that the World Bank directly and actively encouraged Vietnam (the number 2 producer in the world, after Brazil) and others to grow coffee, I found Russell's explanations in RED JUNGLE of how the World Bank would meddle and hurt Guatemala now that it was down even more poignant.

OT: I am happy to hear the fair trade coffee makes a difference. I've been buying fair trade green beans for a while, and not quite co-incidently have been roasting Guatemalan beans only this month.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Sep 2005 EDT