104 Coffee grower José checks his coffee plants one last time before the harvest begins Then workers with cheerful weather beaten faces swarm out over the green mountainside picking the fresh cof fee berries and dropping them into burlap bags The work is so easy it s almost as if the coffee was picking itself Advertisers love such images and consumers love to believe them But as most people probably sus pect the reality can look very different In many parts of the world the daily routine of small farm ers and harvest workers consists of hard labour low wages and almost no occupational safety pro tections Like other companies Lebensbaum sources tea coffee and spices from countries with a higher risk of non compliance with labour and social welfare standards In such regions we only work with cul tivation partners who in addition to their organ A not so perfect world ic certification have been certified for social ac countability and labour standards see p 42 And if that s not the case we commission a social and environmental audit However we are aware that fair trade certificates and even laws are not enough Reality seems to stubbornly resist bending to such standards In Mexico for instance the law prohibits anyone from working before they turn 18 But this legal protec tion against child labour also affects a 17 year old father who needs to provide for his wife and child His school days are over but he s not allowed to work yet There is no vocational training model like in Germany that would allow him to learn a trade while earning money at the same time And there is also no social safety net that can give the family enough support to get it through this phase This is the reality that each year drives thousands of young men in Mexico to climb onto the roof of 5 Quality has roots

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