About 19,800 coffee farmers in Timor Lorosae
have to swallow the bitter pill because of sharp falls in worldwide coffee
On 10 May the price of export quality coffee fetched US$0.6855 on the world markets. On 27 July, however, the price fell to US$0.5130.
“Every week the price falls sharply on the American market in New York. The price fluctuations affect us badly in Timor Lorosae because our coffee is sold on the American market,” said Sisto Moniz Piedade, the Operational Director of Cooperative Café Timor (CCT) in Lecidere, Dili.
CCT is affiliated with the NCBA (National Cooperative Business Association) which markets Timor Lorosae coffee on the New York markets.
Before Timor Lorosae separated from Indonesia, Timor Lorosae coffee farmers were free to sell their coffee at Atambua (in West Timor) at satisfactory prices. That choice, however, is now not available.
Farmers now can only sell their coffee to CCT or two other industries Asinco and Delta Café.
“The prices currently offered at these places are really low,” said Sisto.
Indeed, the issue of falling coffee prices has been taken up by all the 16 political parties in the election campaign for the 30 August election.
Leader of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) Mario Viegas Carrascalao said a kilogram of Timor coffee was sold at Aus$30 in Australia and 100 grams of the same coffee fetched US$1 in Portugal.
“So I’m really baffled on why we are getting so low prices locally?” he asked.
18 2000 CAAT: Re-build ET coffee economy - Buy Fair Trade Coffee!
Up-dated Dec 30
Upon reading about the recent devastating crash in income from East Timor's coffee harvest BACK DOOR did an extensive web-search for ways that we could respond. And guess what? In several capital cities in Australia there are retail outlets that sell East Timorese coffee at much fairer prices. Buying this fair trade coffee will help to re-build the coffee economy. This coffee can also be purchased on-line!
2000 New Internationalist Online Magazine: Theme - Fair Trade Up-dated
Unconvinced? This edition of New Internationalist contains several clear, concise, intelligent articles discussing the issue of fair trade vs free trade. It is essential background reading for anyone unsure of the importance and practicality of fair trading to the pursuit of justice in the world today.