From Origin

Picked By Slaves: Coffee Crisis Brews In Brazil


PATOS DE MINAS, Brazil (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As the coffee harvest drew to a close in the rolling hills of southeastern Brazil, labor inspectors raced to two sprawling plantations with one goal – to rescue workers from slavery.

The convoy, escorted by armed police, hit the road one August morning in Minas Gerais – a state bigger than France – that grows more than half the beans in Brazil, the world’s top coffee exporter.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation joined officials on a high-speed chase over fields, searching for coffee bean pickers crouched amid countless rows of lush trees.

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