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SOC 100 Week 5 Global Social Issues and Change

Global Social Issues and Change


Regardless of whether you understand it, when you purchase Starbucks, you are purchasing an option that could be greater than some espresso; You are supporting the coffee ethic. Over fifty nations around the world now cultivate coffee. Espresso is a well-known refreshment by any name, in any language, or whenever of day and has many dedicated consumers. The value of coffee becomes even more significant when one considers the social aspect of coffee, from the tree to the cup (National Coffee Association USA, n.d.).

In a tropical climate with rich soil, coffee trees are grown at high altitudes. Along the Equatorial line, you can find these conditions. It can take up to four years for the newly planted coffee trees to produce fruit once they have been planted. Coffee beans are typically harvested by hand, and at the end of the day, workers are individually compensated based on how hard they work. The espresso is then conveyed for handling, where it is dried, pulped, and isolated. After that, the beans are dried and ground for export. At each stage, the espresso is tried for quality and taste. After that, coffee is roasted, transforming the green beans into the purchased brown, aromatic beans. People all over the world have helped bring you a cup of freshly brewed coffee, whether you buy it whole or ground (National Coffee Association USA, n.d.).

The Global Social Problem Coffee’s demand continues to rise, but the prices consumers pay for it barely cover the cost of production. Numerous nations have begun exporting this crop due to high demand. “…coffee farmers from Africa to Latin America are dealing with a crisis due to the oversupply of coffee,” states the Albuquerque Journal. The greatest purchasers of espresso are Americans, and their need is expanding for espresso. According to Perez & Doan (2014), Americans now consume 1.7 cups per day, up from 1.4 cups a decade ago. Difficulties arise when coffee farmers are unable to profit from the sales of their crops. To pay off debt or even survive, some farmers are forced to sell their farms.

SOC 100 Week 5 Global Social Issues and Change

According to Cummings (2006), some coffee farmers are even changing the crops they grow to make a living. Farmers are enticed to sell their farms by rising real estate prices. Land costs have expanded in Panama 15 to multiple times (Cummings, 2006). This makes the ranchers lose their capacity to keep ranches. People are attempting to implement “fair trade” in order to assist coffee sales regulation and assist farmers in becoming profitable. 

Alongside the adverse consequence on everyday environments, the expanded drive for espresso yield has negatively affected the climate. Additionally, the majority of coffee-growing regions are home to fragile ecosystems like rainforests. The cultivation of coffee has changed as a result of marketing demands. Coffee is traditionally grown under a canopy that provides native animals and insects with a valuable habitat. Chemical fertilizers are no longer required, and topsoil erosion is prevented by traditional cultivation. Farmers have been encouraged to replace their farming practices with sun cultivation as a result of the increased demand for coffee (“The Guardian,” 2015). Deforestation is a factor in global warming. According to Bradford (2015), deforestation also affects the water cycle, which in turn affects the lives of humans, animals, and plants. 

Populations Affected The price of coffee crops has a significant impact on coffee farmers. Madeley (2001) claims that “…70 or more developing countries… ten million or more people who grow the crop for a living” exist. Brazil is one of the world’s largest coffee producers, and 16% of its people work in agriculture. Coffee is also grown in Vietnam, Columbia, and Ethiopia, among other places. Individuals living close to the equator, in rainforested regions, have their economy generally impacted by espresso costs.

Affecting Social Change Around the World 

Coffee is known to be one of the most traded imported commodities in the world. The labor and production of coffee beans are responsible for one of the most significant global social changes. The production of coffee beans is frequently associated with sweatshop labor practices. In this regard, coffee bean factories and croppers have been accused of paying their workers less than the minimum wage, making them work long hours, and not providing full-time employees with any benefits. According to Erikson (2005), these individuals have been known to employ members of their own families, including children as young as eight years old. 

SOC 100 Week 5 Global Social Issues and Change

One more worldwide social change related to espresso is the expense that ranchers are paid for their espresso beans. The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) establishes a standard framework to ensure that farmers and distributors are not exploited in the import and export of coffee labor production and distribution. The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) serves as a kind of bible to ensure that farmers are treated fairly and that importing nations receive high-quality goods at the lowest possible cost. As a result, both developed, and developing nations make more money.

Opposing Social Change.

We are aware that resistance is merely our way of arguing that there is nothing wrong with the method we are using at the moment, so why change it, or that the previous method was simpler than the new method because it is the standard? Through the eyes of rival farmers and coffee addicts, one can observe the social resistance to change in the coffee industry. Starbucks, McDonald’s, and a number of other restaurants and coffee shops that patronize coffee importing provide society with a pretty picture of how widely accepted coffee beans are. Despite its delicious flavor, farmers, and importers struggle every day to provide for their families. Gordon (2009) asserts that the process by which coffee has been altered to produce a variety of flavors exemplifies social resistance. Farmers have found it more difficult to receive the money they believe they are due for the coffee beans once they have been dried, roasted, or altered to their preferred flavor.

For instance: Because African coffee beans are said to be of the highest quality, it is assumed that African coffee bean farmers receive more compensation for their crops rather than less due to their quality; anyway, that isn’t accurate all the time. From a different angle, farmers may be reluctant or eager to alter their farming practices for environmental and financial reasons.

Dealing with the Problem Some countries that produce coffee reduce their reliance on coffee for export and diversify into other crops. This may be easier said than done for some. As BLACK GOLD demonstrates, poor African nations like Burundi, Uganda, and Ethiopia, which receive more than half of their export earnings from coffee alone, are particularly dependent on coffee. Making espresso creation more reasonable would concede limited scope family ranchers, who produce 75% of the world’s espresso supply, a living compensation. The social and economic effects of falling coffee prices are significant. The United States, which is the largest consumer of coffee worldwide, barely notices price drops, despite the fact that they can have a devastating effect on farmers in other countries. There are four multinational corporations that dominate the global coffee market: Kraft General Foods; owner of Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, Maxwell House, and other brands; proprietor of Folgers and different brands and Sara Lee; owner of Hills Brothers and Chock Full of Nuts). All businesses that sell coffee beverages may raise prices as a result of rising coffee prices. This may have a significant impact on customers and the beverage market as a whole. According to PBS (2015), the beverage market in the United States and Canada is currently valued at $71 billion.

SOC 100 Week 5 Global Social Issues and Change

The prices of Starbucks, Peet’s, and Whole Foods’ Allegro coffee have met consumer demands, according to sociological theory for future research. Cooperatives operate more effectively and achieve fair pricing by developing skills and improving business structures. Five years ago, most people just bought certified coffees and checked the box; Today, sustainability and transparency are being incorporated into the supply chain. Fairtrade is becoming a fundamental way for businesses to conduct business. The espresso costs are tied in with ensuring the producers get something above starvation compensation. Similar to the minimum wage law, it is a measure. We all have to pay the price if other people are going to earn a decent wage. Producers have been forced to relocate their coffee trees, work on larger competitors’ farms, or find other ways to survive in the unstable coffee market. The coffee farmer’s farm’s longevity and the land around it are at risk through unsustainable practices. According to Chemiat (2014), the majority of coffee producers are small families that are frequently confronted with the contradiction of wealthy large-scale producers next door.

There is no one particular sociological theory of social change that is most applicable to the social problem of the coffee trade because each perspective will provide valuable insights that will be used in subsequent research to ensure a comprehensive comprehension of the problem and how it affects people all over the world. The Transformative point of view holds that social change moves society in an unmistakable heading. These progressions generally progress societies from a basic type of social association to one of greater intricacy that incorporates the collaboration between society and the climate.

Functionalists center around what keeps a framework instead of what transforms it. As per Parson’s harmony model, the progressions that happen in one piece of society expect acclimations to be made in one more piece of society to keep up with balance. Society will experience excessive strain and instability if the balance is disturbed or threatened. Change is one of the most important keys to eradicating social inequality and injustice from a conflict perspective. Individuals ought not to be limited to an uninvolved job in answering predictable changes in material culture. According to Schaefer (2011), social inequalities can be eliminated through change.


Since espresso is broadly exchanged and consumed, it influences the financial prosperity of individuals in unfortunate nations while offering a promising road for positive social change. The trade of Fair Trade coffee between developed and developing nations is environmentally and socially responsible. Fair Exchange Espresso assists with giving living wages to ranchers. According to Global Exchange (2011), this income will enable farmers to continue working on their farms, improve their quality of life, and help them provide for their families. It will also ensure that the advantages of environmentally friendly farming practices reach both the farmer and the consumer. SOC 100 Week 5 Global Social Issues and Change.


Bradford, A. (2015). LiveScience. Retrieved from


Chemiat, J. N. (2014). Effect of Advance Payment of Coffee Delivered to Farmers Cooperative Societies on Farmers Satisfaction a Case of GUSII Cooperative Societies, Kenya. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, 3(13).

Cummings, B. (2006). THE DISAPPEARING COFFEE FARM. Restaurant Business, 105(9), 11-12. 

Erikson, D. P. (2005). Central America’s free trade gamble. World Policy Journal, 21(4), 19-28. Retrieved from


Global Exchange. (2011). Retrieved from


Gordon, G. (2009). UGANDAN COFFEE GROWERS. International Trade Forum, (4), 19-23. Retrieved from


Guillermo Contreras Journal, S. W. (2002, Nov 05). The talk focuses on coffee farm hardships. Albuquerque Journal Retrieved from


Madeley, J. (2001). Coffee. Appropriate Technology, 28(1), 30. Retrieved from


National Coffee Association USA. (n.d.). Retrieved from


PBS. (2015). Coffee Prices cause an uproar. Retrieved from


Perez, M. G., & Doan, L. (2014, Mar 21). UNITED STATES OF ARABICA. Daily Press Retrieved from


Schaefer, R. T. (2011). Sociology: A brief introduction (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

The Guardian. (2015). Retrieved from


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