Latin America consists of nineteen sovereign states and several territories and dependencies which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including the Caribbean.
Latin America Coffee
Latin America describes the region that lies below the United States of America all through the continent of South America. These regions were home to ancient civilizations and were later invaded by several European countries that still influence the culture there. But one of the things that Latin America is famous for is their production of the finest coffee in the world. In this article we trace the roots of the most favorable morning drink by billions of people across the world and talk about what people really have to go through to get you that cup of coffee you crave.
History and Origins of Coffee in Latin America
Although coffee didn’t originally originate in Latin America, the lovely and aromatic plant spread all the way from Africa and Arabia until it became one of the most famous plants cultivated in the Latin American region.
The geography of Latin America is very suitable for the growth and cultivation of this plant. Latin America is home to countries that produce the largest production of coffee in the world. Today more than 25 million producers rely on coffee production for their daily life expenses. In Brazil more than 5 million people are employed in coffee related industries. The cultivation process is not subject to automation and requires continuous attention. Coffee is a brewed drink that is made from roasted coffee beans. Coffee is acidic and has a stimulating effect on humans because it contains caffeine.
The drink was introduced to the European world in the 17th century by merchants who brought it from the Arabia and was first highly opposed by the Catholic Church. Later on, it gained popularity and the European invaders took the plant to their colonies in Central and Latin America where the plantation process proved to be successful.
Which countries in Latin America produce the largest amount of coffee?
Brazil is the largest coffee producing country in the world with more than one third of the world’s coffee production. The country has been producing Arabica coffee, one of the most popular brands since the 18th century and currently 20 million bags of coffee are produced every year. Colombia is the second coffee producing country in Latin America and the third worldwide.
The country is known for its high quality Colombian coffee that is worldwide used in the most acclaimed coffee producing franchises and is preferred for its mild well balanced taste. Venezuela is another leading coffee producing country that contributes in the world production of coffee followed by Peru. All these countries offer unlimited work opportunities for people who take part in this industry, from taking care of the coffee beans to preparing the coffee beans and packaging them to exporting them to several countries and coffee manufacturers across the world.
What does it really take to have that cup of coffee in the morning?
Every time you have your cup of coffee, you will be surprised to know the amount of effort it takes to make. Coffee cultivation requires a lot of hard labor work. It is still a man based farming technique that requires the full attention of growers. From paying attention to the beans to picking them up and processing them, a lot of people have to spend time and effort to ensure that you only get the best type of coffee. But unfortunately, coffee processing goes through a lot of stages that only a very small amount of the money you pay to producers and farmers will actually get to them.
Does fair trade coffee eliminate poverty?
Fair Trade is supposed to grant low income producers with the extra income they need to live a life away from misery and poverty. But despite the efforts that Fair Trade terms try to offer in coffee growing communities, the problem of poverty keeps on affecting many people. The issue is not just about pricing mechanisms. Most of the coffee production comes from small farms between 1 and 10 hectares. For most of these farmers coffee production remains to be their primarily source of income and so they are highly affected by the global fluctuation in coffee prices. Just the minor amount of change in the coffee prices during the harvest season will affect their ability to provide for their families for a whole year.
With Fair Trade ensuring that these small scale coffee producers are paid higher prices that will compensate them for the benefits big companies get by offering more desirable lower prices for mass production. Fair Trade also aims at eliminating middle men between producers and buyers so that they gain the greatest amount of benefit. It also offers great financial and investment opportunities to small scale producers who will be able to reinvest in their coffee production business and will be able to plan in advance.