Coffe workers must sign blank documents

2. Mar 2016

40-50 percent of coffee workers in Brazil are working without a formal contract giving them the right to pension and sick leave. Hear coffee worker Elisabete Vitor da Costa explain how she was forced to sign blank documents instead of an official contract during the coffee harvest in 2014.

InvestigationBitter kaffe

Danwatch har besøgt Brasiliens største kaffeproducerende stat, Minas Gerais, hvor halvdelen af Brasiliens kaffe bliver dyrket. Vi har besøgt kaffeplantager, interviewet kaffearbejdere, fagforeninger, eksperter og lokale myndigheder.

Danwatch har været med politiet og det brasilianske beskæftigelsesministerium på inspektion på en brasiliansk kaffeplantage, hvor 17 mænd, kvinder og børn, som var ofre for menneskehandel, blev befriet fra slavelignende forhold. To børn på henholdsvis 14 og 15 år havde arbejdet med at plukke kaffe på plantagen.


Brazilian coffee is sprayed with deadly pesticides

In Brazil, coffee may be sprayed with pesticides that are illegal in the EU because they are acutely toxic and cause disease. Many workers apply pesticides without sufficient protective equipment, and pesticide poisoning is widespread. Even the drinking water contains traces of these dangerous pesticides.

You may be drinking coffee grown under slavery-like, life-threatening conditions

Brazil’s coffee industry has serious problems with working conditions that are analogous to slavery, life- threatening pesticides and scarce protective equipment. Danwatch has confronted the world’s largest coffee companies with the facts of these violations. Jacobs Douwe Egberts admits that it is possible that coffee from plantations with poor labour conditions ended up in their products, and coffee giant Nestlé acknowledges having purchased coffee from two plantations where authorities freed workers from conditions analogous to slavery in 2015.