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Coffee is a product that can be seen as a pioneer for fair trade and sustainable production. Consumers' awareness of social-ethical and ecological risks is correspondingly high. The system of certification and self-commitments also now serves as a role model for other industries.

Nevertheless, the distribution of the economic added value and the risks have not been fundamentally changed as such, that coffee production still continues to be associated with significant damage to humans and the environment. This is true to varying degrees for all cultivation regions and the most important producer countries of Ethiopia, Brazil and Vietnam.

Comparable to the cocoa and tea sector, the main risks in the ethical-social and ecological segment occur on the first level of the value added chain, whereby the wage earners are exposed to a risk of poverty just as high as what the farmers experience.