As part of Verité’s ongoing work to improve labor practices in the Latin American coffee sector under the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Cooperation on Fair, Free, Equitable Employment (COFFEE) Project, this year we are launching pilot projects in three key coffee producing countries — Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.
Verité research has found that the use of labor brokers (including village-level agents, recruiters, labor contractors, and crew leaders) is widespread throughout the Latin American coffee sector, including in Brazil.
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In many countries, including major producing nations such as Brazil and Colombia, workers in the coffee sector have been defined as essential workers who must continue to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent weeks, Verité has been engaging stakeholders in The Cooperation On Fair, Free Equitable Employment (COFFEE) Project to learn about the impacts COVID-19 is having on coffee farmers and farmworkers and to explore potential actions that could mitigate the effects of the pandemic on them.