Coffee at the White House and Poverty


Coffee at the White House reflects America’s approach to poverty.  When Vice President Biden was in Guatemala for the inauguration of their President, he also met with the Presidents of Honduras and El Salvador.  The discussion was about the Alliance for Prosperity for all three countries…

Whenever Vice President Biden has java at the White House or at his own residence, each coffee bean has significance.  It more than likely came from a lovely region in the mountains where millions of coffee farmers live with their families.  The coffee business brings in tens of billions of dollars each your.

This article reports that every cup gives back only US$0.01 cent toward eliminating poverty for those farmers who grew the beans. The Boston Globe says that the White House sometimes brews Hawaiian coffee which costs $35 to $45 per pound.  Yet the coffee from Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, etc. costs less than US$1.30 per pound. This money likely goes to the exporters and traders, coffee shop chains, and restaurants.

This article maintains that what Americans and Europeans call fair-trade or ethical coffee is not enough to truly change poverty.

While the U.S. says it is working toward trade and development for Central America, the economy is in crisis.  Thousands try to migrate to the U.S as a result.

Stopping migration is a priority for the US but the truth is most migrants would love to stay in their countries close to their families if only they could earn a decent living locally. Life in ‘El Norte’ is not the picture perfect dream for most…

It is not enough to eradicate poverty but just enough to alleviate it and to perpetuate a gentler “poverty light” that becomes a poverty trap for farmers and their families, a “kind” but also unacceptable form of modern slavery.

To read the entire article, click on the link below.

View Article on The Huffington Post

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