Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Antigua Guatemala Coffee Industry

Central America Sept 07 193Image by Shared Interest via Flickr

Author Tom Johnson

Several articles in the New York Times are reporting small coffee growers in Guatemala are having a hard time making ends meet. Visiting Antigua as much as I can I enjoy the fresh taste of Antigua Coffee especially from one of my favorite destination in Antigua “Café Condesa” across from central park in the heart of Antigua.

Antigua sits in the heart of Panchoy Valley, surrounded to the North by the Manchén hills and Candelaria where one can enjoy the wonderful landscape. The Agua volcano rises 3,750 meters above sea level to the South. The Manzanillo and La Cruz hills rise to the East and the Acatenango volcano, reaching 3,960 meters above sea level, and Fuego volcano, which is 3,800 meters high, tower over Antigua to the West.
Tourism is the main source of income for Antigua, followed by coffee, which is a favorite of international markets. The large amount of high quality traditional handcrafts manufactured here are also an important source of revenue. SOURCE

The coffee industry is huge in Guatemala, a lot like the corn and soybean business is in the Midwest of the United States. A lot of people depend on this industry for their livelihood. As reported today in Times, the future of the Fair Trade — coffee movement is in question, as some backers raise concerns about whether it has reached the limit of how much it can help. In a private-industry survey last year of 179 Fair Trade coffee farmers in Central America and Mexico, a copy of which TIME obtained, more than half said their families have still been going hungry for several months a year. "When I got the results, I was shocked," says Rick Peyser, director of social advocacy for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Vermont, the Fair Trade company that commissioned the survey. "I was ready to quit." Massachusetts Fair Trade firm Equal Exchange spokesman Rodney North admits, "There is a potential disconnect between what the buyer thinks Fair Trade is accomplishing and the situation on the ground," from Latin America to Asia.

I would really hate to see the coffee growers take a harder blow than what they already have taken. The economy in Guatemala is extremely bad and something like this would put a devastating blow on the already weak economy.

Click here to view the entire article.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]