A coffee farmer in Harar, Ethiopia

In 2001, coffee hit a 30-year low in Ethiopia. Many farmers faced great difficulty just affording food, and turned to government feeding centers. Others started growing chat, a narcotic, to survive. What is more, these farmers make only 5 to 10 percent of the retail price off of their crop; in the end, Starbucks’ and other competitors’ strategies to stay competitive cut the thinnest slice of revenues to the farmers who grow their product.


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