A Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The extinction of Mexican coffee

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Mexico has the most special coffees in the world, because of its geographical characteristics, each one knows differently, it is not the same to try a native of Atoyac, Guerrero, or a coffee of strong flavor and delicate aroma of Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca or a chocolate of Ixhuatlán del Café, [1]

[1] Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters UNAM,

. This is to name just a few, since we have high quality coffees in Nayarit, Puebla, Hidalgo, Chiapas, State of Mexico, Jalisco, etc.

Although it is a matter of pride to know that we are part of such an important agricultural heritage, this cycle has one of the worst crises in Mexican coffee due to various problems, speculation, above all, that are extinguishing a coffee-growing Mexico that was once an example in the 21st century. of production and trade union organization in the world. In recent months, we have read, heard and been alerted that coffee is in a serious price crisis (again) around the world. The kilo of cherry coffee is being paid at the same price as in 1983 [1]but with the inflation of 2019. These numbers so impressive, bring some questions to the reflection: If they pay so little to whom it produces Why does it cost us a cup of coffee more and more ?, Who can live with so little income? If the crises are so recurrent, why do not the producers change for a more profitable product ?, infinity of questions, that we will try to answer, reflecting, first of all, to become consumers that are part of the solution and not of the problem.


Every time we produce less coffee

Many years ago, in our country the price of coffee was regulated by the INMECAFE [2], a government agency, which, with its disadvantages and successes, promoted a fair payment to the thousands of coffee growers in the country, coffee growing in the 70’s, was a fundamental part of the economic, cultural and political life of the century Mexico XX, the population saw in its production an ally in the long-awaited Mexican Miracle. For many reasons, this growth was not fruitful and the Welfare State was replaced by the Gendarme State, where any paternalistic feature was disappearing and so the Institute and all its public policy allied with the indigenous and peasant family, disappeared, to leave who produces our aromatic, in the hands of transnational capital. From that moment, we live who depend on coffee,

Before a discouraging panorama, where besides a price below its production, environmental crises due to the use of lethal agrochemicals for Mother Nature, voracious transnationals, plagues difficult to eradicate, Climate Change, “feminization” of the field, where women they produce are not owners of the land they work and where the consumer does not want or is not interested to see what is happening behind their coffee cup, it would be easy to “turn the page” and worry about more urban problems, but a Again, the men and women who sow hope, are setting an example to us that other coffee growing is possible.

Sowers of hope

When the government of the Fourth Transformation and the Nestlé (December 2018) announced the installation of one more plant of the transnational in the state of Veracruz, many of us, we saw this betrayal as the death of independent and sovereign coffee farming, which would be It is difficult to free oneself from a government that is allied with the most devastating transnational in the coffee world. But to the surprise of much and joy of many others, from every corner of the country where our coffee is produced , from the small and large farms, from the coffee plantations, indigenous and agro-ecological, have come out to protest and demand a total halt to the delivery from our coffee sovereignty to the most harmful coffee monopoly in the world.

When we reflect with the producers, they tell us: ” We got worse, the low prices if they affect us, but if you buy directly from the producer or from the peasant organizations, we end up with the evils, the low price and the profit for a few” . How should we support them to get out of the crisis? One day I asked Don Ernesto, coffee leader from Ixhuatlán del Café in the state of Veracruz, who encouraged me to continue fighting.

We need consumers who ask, who investigate that they put their mouths, that, if they buy from Starbucks and Nestlé, they know that they benefit people who may never have seen a coffee plantation, and that when they buy directly from us, we benefit all . We produce a coffee allied to nature, we protect biodiversity, the health of you and us, we conserve basins of water springs and we hope to grow as a country.

The most important thing is to promote and encourage the organization of small producers, and the union of those who consume coffee, because if we are still waiting for someone to send us the solution in a soluble coffee pot, or in a cafeteria that offers comfort in place of quality or in a Nespresso capsule, the current coffee crisis, is the chronicle of an announced death.

[1] For more information, check the movement of a fair payment to whoever produces the coffee, https://www.facebook.com/CafeForChange/

[2] Mexican Coffee Institute

Source: unamglobal

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