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Word Count: 387
Coffee is the second largest US import after oil and the USA consumes one-fifth of the entire worlds coffee which makes them the largest consumer in the world of coffee But many of these consumers dont realise that most of the small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are less than the costs of production forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt The prices that are paid to the coffee farmers per pound of coffee started to decline in 1997 and are now the lowest ever in 100 years Many rural communities in the developing world depend on coffee production as a central source of money There are more than 50 countries that produce coffee The three largest producers are Brazil Colombia and Indonesia The crisis had formed from an estimated 25 million coffee producers many of whom cannot sell their coffee beans at the cost of production It is also estimated that 100 million more family members and seasonal labourers who also depend on coffee farming for their livelihoods Because the production of coffee is so vital to the economic state of these countries the coffee farmers are pressurised by the bid multinational companies into supplying the beans at low prices The farmers are so poor and need money they can only focus on growing one crop If this crop fails then they have little or no income However if they were to increase the price of the coffee the companies will use alternative suppliers The farmers have few skills other than farming and little modern equipment and techniques This makes them inefficient and cannot lower the PRICE OF PRODUCTION due to little skills machinery The coffee producing countrys governments do not want to impose rules on the Fair Trade supply scheme for fear that the coffee companies would leave the country in search of a new supplier therefore removing employment and income from the
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