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Oxfam calls for "Coffee Rescue Plan"

Oxfam International launched on Wednesday a worldwide campaign to address the global coffee crisis and bring stability to an oversaturated market. In particular, the confederation of 12 development agencies seeks to address the disparity between local coffee producers, who are being driven into poverty by plummeting wholesale prices, and international coffee retailers, who are reaping huge profits. In a new report, "Mugged: Poverty in your coffee cup", issued to mark the start of the campaign, Oxfam states that the "Big Four" roasters - Sara Lee, Kraft, Procter & Gamble and Nestle - buy nearly half the world's coffee crops and make very significant profits, with margins estimated at between 17 percent to 26 percent on billion-dollar coffee sales. "They know there is terrible human suffering at the very heart of their business and yet they do virtually nothing to help. It's time to shame and change them," said Vincent Lelei, Oxfam Regional Director for Horn, East and Central Africa. Dependency on coffee production is particularly high in the Great Lakes countries of Africa. In Burundi coffee accounts for some 79 percent of total exports, in Uganda it accounts for 43 percent, and in Rwanda for 31 percent of exports. Full Report [See also: Ethiopia: Coffee companies hurting third world farmers]

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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