Blog Posts

Union efforts in the coffee industry

Union efforts in the coffee industry

by Dani Straughan December 12, 2021 9 min read

Is there change brewing for workers in the coffee industry?

We are at a major turning point when it comes to labor in the US.

Cafe workers have faced issues in the workplace for a long time, though unionization has historically been low in the sector. As workplace issues have become exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, workers are realizing the benefits that unionization can offer.

Aiden Graham (NC AFL-CIO) suggests that “we need pretty substantial labor law reform in the US to start going in the right direction.” The process for law reform can be long and drawn out, though. 

He offers one other suggestion, however: 

“The other thing that we need is workers organizing, anywhere and everywhere they can.”

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A Living Wage for Coffee Service Workers

A Living Wage for Coffee Service Workers

by Dani Straughan November 01, 2021 6 min read

Contributor Dani Straughan explores the conversation around the Living Wage in the US coffee industry - featuring an interview with Elle Taylor of Denver, CO based Amethyst Coffee Company:

..“No worker is 'living' right now. We all have to work 40 hours a week just to keep a roof over our head and food on our table, when food and shelter are necessary for survival and should be guaranteed rights, not for-profit enterprises.”

..'The service industry has the highest sector of people earning minimum or just above minimum wage. A lot of people don’t realize that the last time that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour was raised was in 2009. The fact that the minimum wage hasn’t kept pace with a changing economy has made life precarious for low wage earners, and kept many at or just above the poverty line.'

..'There are many in the coffee industry who continue to earn low wages, but the time for change is afoot... people are seeking out a more conscientious cup.'

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What changes can we expect in the coffee industry as a result of climate change?

What changes can we expect in the coffee industry as a result of climate change?

by Dani Straughan September 19, 2021 5 min read

Up-and-coming coffee writer Dani Straughan explores the challenges of a global coffee industry grappling with climate change:

.."The world loves coffee. Its uses as the world’s second-most consumed beverage range from spiritual practice to drive thru pick-me-up. Green coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world, and millions of people rely on the production of coffee for income, from the farmers right down to your neighborhood barista.  

..Coffee farmers live disproportionately in poverty compared to all the other players along the chain of production. This is a limiting factor in both their business decisions and their options for navigating a changing climate.

..While it is important to consider what can be done from an agricultural perspective, it is also important to look at things from an overall perspective - what changes can the coffee industry make as a whole to help farmers with the negative impacts of climate change?"

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