by Gavin Fridell | Socialist Project | Click HERE to read article
A major coffee crisis is brewing in Central America. Its impact has already been felt by the poorest workers and farmers, and things could get a whole lot worse. In 2012 an outbreak of “coffee leaf rust” (a fungus that has long haunted the industry) hit Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The outbreak is the worst in over thirty years, affecting over 50 per cent of the total coffee growing area in the region, causing a nearly 20 per cent drop in production and costing the industry around $500-million. Over 373,000 jobs have been lost, around 17 per cent of the region’s entire coffee-growing workforce.