Table of Contents
Forced Labor or Trafficking in Persons cited by U.S. Government
Child Labor cited by U.S. Government
Risk of Forced Labor or Trafficking in Persons cited by other source
Risk of Child Labor cited by other source
Documented presence of migrant workers
Documented presence of vulnerable workers
Documented presence or significant likelihood of third-party labor recruiters
Large numbers of dispersed, unorganized, or informal small producers or other worksites
Multiple points of aggregation, co-mingling, and/or transformation across supply chain
High degree of flexibility in procurement practices of downstream entities
Complex/opaque supply chains and/or lack of vertical integration
Scale or nature of risk is present across multiple tiers or nodes of supply chain (including in associated downstream or upstream goods)
Scale or nature of risk varies significantly based on geographic area of production
Scale or nature of risk is strongly associated with certain types of suppliers/entities
The harvest season presents the highest risk of labor abuses in the coffee value chain. Many coffee varieties are harvested via “selective picking,” or only harvesting ripe beans. This harvesting technique is labor-intensive and not easily mechanized (though it has been in some regions). Selective picking requires a significant number of laborers to pick the ripe coffee beans at the right time. To accommodate the high demand for labor, many producers rely on an influx of temporary migrant workers, who may be vulnerable to labor exploitation.
After the beans are dried, hulled, sorted, and milled, they are loaded onto ships for export.910 Steps from Seed to Cup. National Coffee Association, https://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/10-Steps-from-Seed-to-Cup. Though the risks to laborers’ rights are most concentrated in the early stages, they also exist in the processing and transportation stages, where heavy labor is often involved in the drying, hulling, and milling processes.
Cultivation and Harvesting
Drying, Hulling, Milling, Sorting
Wholesale and Retail
Coffee beans are often used in the production of caffeinated drinks sold at the retail level.
Coffee beans are sold whole to consumers to grind themselves, as well as in ground form. Coffee beans and ground coffee are also sold to small and large retailers from coffee shops to fast food establishments.