Coffee Tasters (00:56)
Tasters grade coffees from around the world at the International Cupping Competition, sponsored by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Ethiopia, the Birthplace of Coffee (03:16)
Coffee provides 67% of Ethiopia's export revenue. Fifteen million Ethiopians depend on coffee for their livelihoods. Our film crew visits a warehouse in Addis Ababa.
Collapsed Supply Agreement (02:28)
Coffee prices paid to farmers plunge following collapse of the International Coffee Agreement in 1989. Cooperative manager Tadesse Meskela travels to southern Ethiopia.
Farmers Talk Price (02:31)
Meskela, manager of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, discusses prices with farmers in Kilenso Mokonisa. He pledges to get farmers a fair price.
Worldwide, consumers drink about 2 billion cups of coffee per day. Retail sales exceed $80 billion per year. A few companies dominate the world market.
World Markets (02:42)
New York and London commodity exchanges establish world coffee prices. Major coffee companies offset risk though futures markets.
Pride in Their Work (03:05)
Rosa Meskela lauds her husband's efforts to help Ethiopian coffee farmers. A barista in Trieste, Italy, describes the importance of coffee in Italian daily life.
Shortening the Supply Chain (03:10)
At the government coffee auction in Addis Ababa, Meskela explains how he sells directly to roasters, cutting out middlemen, thereby benefiting farmers.
Fifty Perfect Beans (03:20)
Illy Coffee Company, Italy, markets pure arabica blends. Perfect beans produce a special coffee. Illy's president claims Illy is not "commodity coffee."
Culling Beans (01:26)
Women earn less than $0.50 per day picking out inferior coffee beans at the Coffee Export Processing Center in Addis Ababa.
World Barista Championship (02:16)
In Seattle, at the final round of the World Barista Championship, contestants from all over the world vie for the coveted title.
Good Life For Farmers (02:32)
Meskela displays retail coffees made from his union's beans. He describes the humble elements of a "good life" to which Ethiopian coffee farmers aspire.
Pleading for God's Help (01:31)
Farmers in Yirgacheffe, southern Ethiopia, pray for better lives and better prices for their coffee.
Coffee Farmers Live in Poverty (04:00)
Farmer Burte Arba in Bule Hora, Ethiopia, explains coffee growing and how a fair price of only $0.57 per kilogram could radically improve life for his family, such as make school possible for his children.
School in Coffee Country (03:26)
A young man's aspirations depend on an education. A school struggles to pay teachers and buy essential equipment.
First Starbucks Store (02:04)
Viewers join a Seattle Coffee House Tour to Starbucks' first store in Pike Place Market. The manager says she's "in the people business serving coffee."
Famine Strikes Sidama (02:34)
Viewers visit a therapeutic feeding center in the region that supplies Ethopian coffee to Starbucks. Low coffee prices prevent farmers from buying needed food.
Hunger Hits Very Young First (02:11)
Strict guidelines at a therapeutic feeding center in Ethiopia mean only the most severely malnourished will be admitted. Health workers must turn away marginally malnourished children.
Courting New Coffee Markets (03:05)
Meskela travels to London seeking British customers. Bypassing New York commodities markets may mean better prices for farmers and roasters.
Solution: Consumer Pressure? (03:44)
Meskela visits a London grocery searching for his coffees. He believes consumers can help Third World producers by demanding fair prices for farmers.
Farmers Pushed to Plant Drugs (02:14)
Because coffee prices remain depressed, some desperate farmers plant chat, an amphetamine-like stimulant.
More Income from Chat (02:16)
Meskela notes European countries subsidize many popular commodities. Without subsidies, Ethiopian farmers resort to growing chat alongside coffee.
Unfair Trade Rules? (02:14)
At World Trade Organization talks in Cancun, representatives from Chad and Malawi seek trade rules that will improve their economies.
WTO Talks Unfair to Developing Nations (02:01)
Huge delegations from Western nations participate fully in trade talks. Small delegations from developing nations cannot possibly cover multiple, simultaneous negotiations.
Trade Talks Collapse (01:40)
African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries walk out on WTO negotiations because Western nations refuse to listen to their concerns. Western farm subsidies particularly gall Africans.
Emergency Food Aid (02:20)
Seven million people depend on emergency food aid in Ethiopia every year. An aid worker says better ways are needed to help people.
Specialty Coffee Trade Show (02:54)
Meskela mans a booth at a trade show to promote his cooperative union's coffees.
Farmers Appreciate the Importance of Education (02:44)
At the Kilenso Mokonisa Cooperative, members vote to use profits and reserves to invest in a new school.
Fair Trade Could Solve Africa's Food Crisis (03:34)
Africa's share of world trade totals 1%. A 1% increase would generate $70 billion, more than 5 times the value of annual emergency food aid to the continent.
Credits: Black Gold (03:13)
Credits: Black Gold
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