Black Gold

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Black Gold
The film Black Gold was a very interesting and eye opening film. The film focuses mainly on the coffee growers in southern and western Ethiopia. The movie shows closely the journey that Tadesse Maskela goes through to promote his union- Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union. The union was developed to cut out the middleman in the processes of trading and exporting the coffee beans. Tadesse Maskela also attempts to secure a living wage for the coffee farmers that her represents, and hope to have fair trade for social and economic justice. The union’s goals are to stabilize the local markets in and outside of Ethiopia, to improve the Ethiopian coffee market, and most importantly to improve the quantity of life of the coffee farmers. I find this very important because it really opened my eyes and realize that the farmers make very little or no money at all for every cup of coffee that we drink. The movie shows the drastic challenges that the farmers go through. Children are malnourished, uneducated, bad living conditions, and most importantly their work is not paying off. These farmers work eight to twelve hour shifts and make as little as fifty cents a day. The film Life and Debt showed similar issues like the ones in Black Gold. In Life and Debt we saw how due to regulations from the IMF and World Bank, farmers who produced bananas and milk lost profits due to trade regulations made and that other countries producing it at a lower price. This caused the bananas and milk to rot and the conditions and profits of the farmers worsen. The thing that I picked up form both films is that we need to be more aware of where and how we get what we have. We need to know who is affected through the process of getting this product. It always seems that the little farmers are getting hurt, while big corporations are just gaining the profits.
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