Different Countries Produce Coffee for Different Reasons
While some countries produce coffee as a food item, others engage in its production for commercial purposes. The role of coffee in Ethiopia, Vietnam, Italy, and the U.S. differs slightly in terms of economic, political, and cultural purposes. For example, Italy is classified as the fourth biggest nation that imports coffee. The country runs a robust coffee industry. Consequently, it has become the biggest exporter of roasted coffee. Economically, consumption of coffee per capita has increased from 3.5kg to 5.7 kg. Decaffeinated coffee accounts for approximately 7% of the market, while soluble coffee accounts for 1% (Robert, Jonathan & Shawn, 2013). For several years, Italy relied on Ethiopia as its primacy coffee-production colony. Therefore, importing trends do not indicate any specific historical relationship. The strong Italian emigrant community in Brazil plays a pivotal role in enhancing commercial cooperation. Therefore, the success of the coffee business in Italy can be attributed to its cordial relationship with the neighboring countries as well as coffee producing countries, such as Ethiopia and Vietnam. Ethiopia has harbored a vast diversity of coffee species and genotypes for many centuries. As reckoned by Boot (2013), Ethiopia is one of the nations that produce coffee, for both consumption and commercial purposes. Indeed, the economic and political situation in Ethiopia plays a significant role in enhancing the production and sale of coffee. Vietnam is ranked first among the greatest producers of Robusta Coffee. Also, Thurston (2013) reckons that the economic and cultural aspects in Vietnam have played a significant role in the production of coffee. The U.S. is considered as the greatest importer of coffee in the world. Indeed, coffee plays a huge role in determining the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Across the four countries, the political aspect is the greatest factor that determines the growth of coffee industry. Some of the policies implemented in these countries, for example, the regulations set by the World Bank in Vietnam, present both benefits and adverse effects on coffee production. For instance, some policies may limit coffee production and importation to a certain quantity. Also, tariffs levied on the production and sale of coffee limit the expansion of the export and import trade of the commodity (Robert, Jonathan, & Shawn, 2013).
Defining Justice in Coffee Trade
The concept of justice in coffee production entails the ability to determine the production capacity of the product, as well as price-setting strategies. Coffee trade can be classified under the price gouging and executive pay. Regarding price gouging, a country sets the cost of coffee under the consideration of the financial welfare of the consumers. The price set should maximize happiness to the various stakeholders involved. Another key aspect of price gouging in coffee trade is the freedom accorded to coffee industries to set their prices based on what they believe is standard for a market. The other aspect of price gouging is engaging countries that produce coffee in the implementation of policies that ensure the manufacture of quality products.
Executive pay is another form of justice in the coffee trade business. The implementation of policies and regulations to bar some countries from engaging in the coffee business is ethically misguided. It is also considered an injustice to classify countries based on their production abilities. Each country that produces coffee should be given an equal opportunity of offering its coffee product to the market indiscriminately (Sandel, 2009). Begrudging countries because of their political and economic success violates rules of trade.
Boot, W. (2013). Ethiopia. In Robert W. Thurston, Jonathan Morris, and Shawn Steinman (Editors), Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry, Lanham: Rowman & Littlfield. pp. 153-157.
Robert, T. M., Jonathan, M., & Shawn, S. (2013). Coffee: a comprehensive guide to the bean,
Sandel, M. J. (2009). Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.the beverage and the industry: Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield
Thurston, R.W. (2013). Vietnam. In Robert W. Thurston, Jonathan Morris, and Shawn Steinman (Editors), Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry, Lanham: Rowman & Littlfield. pp. 158-161.