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As the coronavirus pandemic has shut down both the tourism and restaurant sectors in Mexico and abroad, coffee producers in Oaxaca’s Sierra Sur region are worried about the future of an industry they say has been forgotten by the federal government.
Maria Jose Palacio grew up in Colombia’s coffee region, the fifth generation in a family of coffee growers.
She would seek her fortune away from the steep hills, the back-breaking work and the persistent poverty to become a field designer for such prestigious fashion lines as Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Maria Cornejo in New York City.
The pandemic has killed more than 250,000 people and upended food production worldwide. Meat processing plants where outbreaks have occurred are closed; truckers have curtailed deliveries for fear of infection, and farmers are destroying crops that they cannot get to consumers.
Global consumers are still drinking coffee, but few are visiting cafes. Instead they are buying medium-quality supermarket beans to drink at home, foregoing high-end coffee shop offerings and spelling disaster for specialist suppliers.
Doi Chaang Coffee – which has more than 50 franchises in Southeast Asia – said it would pay about 7 million baht ($224,000) after the Thomson Reuters Foundation revealed the non-payment and ensuing debts.