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Published 03 August 2012 05:34, Updated 09 August 2012 05:02
Q&A with Jose Gorbeña, director of Mexican-based family business Don Pepe Coffee – one of the farm owners Phil Di Bella deals with directly.
How many people work on the farm(s)?
We have contact with several farms in Veracruz and Chiapas. Phil [Di Bella] buys from these two states in Mexico. Some farms can have 20 or 30 people, some can have 60 or more.
How may children work there?
Sometimes, they come to work on holidays and breaks. Usually there are 10 to 13 children [aged] over 15.
How much are the children paid (by the hour) and how many hours a day do they work?
They just work to help [their] families, Also there are differences depending on the season.
Do you believe it’s right to have children working on farms? Why or why not?
Yes, it teaches them some activity and a job. It keeps them on the right side of the community.
How can you guarantee that children are not exploited on farms?
We care for the kids, not exploit them. How can you guarantee that anywhere in the world? How do you do that in Australia?
Do you make more money selling direct to a coffee roaster or through a broker?
We can sell . . . at the price we decide and Crop to Cup does not bring the price down as they are not taking risks, because they roast the coffee. Brokers need to sell the coffee so for them is a risk, so they try to bring the price down to be protected.
Would you consider joining up with Fairtrade?
Fairtrade has rules that do not belong to the local rules. They make up their own rules. We go by the rules of the Mexican government.