Specialty Coffee for Social Justice

On World Social Justice Day, we remember our partner farmers and how they contribute to social justice.

On 26 November 2007, the UN‘s General Assembly declared that 20 February will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice. In 2021, it is focused on social justice in the digital economy which has transformed the world of work.

This year’s commemoration supports efforts by the international community to search for solutions to achieve sustainable development, poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, universal social protection, gender equality and access to social well-being and justice for all.

Back in time

After 20 February was named World Day for Social Justice, the International Labour Organization unanimously, with the votes of the 182 member states, adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008.

The Declaration came at a crucial political moment, reflecting the wide consensus on the need for a strong social dimension to globalization in achieving improved and fair outcomes for all. It constitutes a compass for the promotion of a fair globalization based on decent work, as well as a practical tool to accelerate progress in the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda at the country level. It also reflects a productive outlook by highlighting the importance of sustainable enterprises in creating greater employment and income opportunities for all.

Marisabel Caballero of Finca El Puente, Honduras (pictured) and a worker. Together with her husband Moises Herrera, Marysabel builds a house for one of their workers’ family each year.

What does social justice mean in the world of coffee?

At Dabov Specialty Coffee we realize that we are all connected in our globalized world. We stand as a bridge between specialty coffee lovers and farmers and their communities. We are aware of our role as a mediator who is accountable to both parties.

Our responsibility to the specialty coffee lovers is to serve them a better cup of coffee every day, day after day. And our responsibility to farmers is to pay them a fair price for their work. This is how we can support both them and their community. And we have said it many times and we will repeat it, because this principle of ours remains relevant: we never bargain for the price of the coffee we liked.

We believe that everyone in the chain must receive a fair price for their work. And we believe that we share the same moto with our partner farmers. That is why we strive to maintain long-term partnerships. After all, this is one of the conditions for sustainable development.

When many companies export their production to the Third World, they do so because of its poorer overall development, which results in cheap labor. This, in turn, means less cost for companies. And as we know, most coffee producers come from developing or underdeveloped countries.

In the coffee world, large companies that sell mass-produced low-quality coffee, rely on cheap labor. They also insist on high coffee yields, often achieved through mechanization of production and reduced quality control over production. Many large companies are mainly interested in the revenue column at the end of the month. And where is the individual who works for them? Who cares about any of their living conditions?

Specialty coffee farmers are interested in every worker

In contrast, specialty coffee farmers show an interest towards each and everybody because they know they depend on each person’s work and efforts. That’s why they work in small communities where the relationships are much more personal – face to face. There, it is easy to notice every effort and every mistake. That is why it is much easier for people to realize how interconnected and interdependent they are.

When a farmer takes care of his or her local community, he or her increases the quality of life of the workers. And subsequently, the quality of the flavorsome roasted coffee bean in your cup rises as well. The opposite is also true. An award for exceptionally good coffee can open many doors for the farmer and lead him or her to different markets. An unexpected higher income can help the owner improve the living conditions of his or her workers. With more revenue, farmers can also experiment with innovative and modern processing methods.

Our partners constantly encourage their employees

We work with farmers who create and maintain living conditions for their workers that are very different from exploitation. They not only provide a roof over the heads of the workers and their families. They also add social benefits such as access to medical care. And they make sure that the children are at school, not in the field. In many cases, they support schools financially or even help build schools.

Workers from these communities may receive different pay according to their job, skills and qualifications. However, the pay is just and not below the bare minimum. On the contrary! In many of the farms, there are special bonuses for excellent picking of cherries, if all the requirements of the farmer are met. There are many farmers who care about environment. Not only do they not destroy the typical flora and fauna of their region, but they also enrich them with new species.

We are proud that our partner farmers are socially responsible. They don’t just growe coffee – they cultivate a better future for entire communities. And by investing in a better quality of life for their workers, they are investing in better quality products, from which we all benefit.

Roberto Brenes of Finca La Aurora in Panama. In his farm workers enjoy nice homes, free transportation for children to school and regular medical check-ups for whole families at the local health center.

How many coffee beans are there in an espresso shot?

Probably some of you know, that you need an average of 60 coffee beans for a cup of espresso.

Imagine that two, probably roughened by field work hands have picked these 60 beans … At the exact moment when the coffee cherries are perfectly ripe … And most often under the scorching sun.

How long does it take to plant, cultivate, grow, harvest these beans? Then, how lond does it take for them to be sorted, processed, stored, transported across oceans and seas? Finally – roasted, ground, brewed and served to you?

And how long does it take to drink them?

By the way, do you know how many beans are in a kilogram of coffee? If we assume that in one pound of coffee there are about 4000 beans (and 1 kg is equal to 2.2 pounds), then in one kilogram there are about 8800 beans …

With every BG lev you pay for a specialty coffee, you help a person on the other side of the world to get a fair price for their work. And you contribute for a better life for them.

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