The best, export-quality Honduran coffee is grown at 1,600 meters above sea level, say local coffee growers. Much of it is harvested by small hands; children forced by poverty into a lifetime of hard labor.
Valued at over US$250 billion, the coffee industry “generates profits for investors, added value and taxes for wealthy nations, and yet, coffee is produced by poor children in at least 17 countries,” Fernando Morales-de la Cruz at Cafe for Change told ContraCorriente.
“The business model of the coffee industry is cruel, inhumane, and illegal,” he said, adding, “Coffee multinationals pay growers less than a quarter of the real price of coffee. That causes an increase in hunger, malnutrition, and forced migration. Coffee companies also deceive consumers by selling coffee they claim is fair or ethical, when in fact growers receive less than 1% on average of what consumers pay for a cup of coffee in Europe, Canada, or the United States.”
Nestlé, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, Sucafina, Tchibo, J.J. Darboven, JDE Peets, Lavazza, Illy, Olam, and Dunkin are some of the companies benefiting from child labor in Honduras, according to Cafe for Change.
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The odd and large-scale corruption by Hilda Hernández, sister of the Honduran president
The story of Hilda Hernández, the now deceased sister of Honduran president, includes bribing journalists and paying extreme amounts of money for sandwiches.
Hernández, in a recent case by the country’s anti-corruption unit, was found to have used her position as minister to lead a corruption ring that embezzled more than 122 million lempiras (US$5 million) in public funds.
Much of this money was used to pay off over 70 journalists in exchange for favorable coverage for her brother and the government.
Read more about how she managed to do this, and how this affected the media’s portrayal of the government here.
Primaries in Honduras this weekend