The response papers should be a critical analysis of an aspect of the film – either a response to one of the themes posed in the discussion post on “Black Gold”, or to another part of the film that interested you. Please do not attempt to discuss all the issues raised in the film, but instead narrow in on one aspect. Please do not summarize the film. The responses will be graded according to how well they critically respond to an aspect of the financial crisis discussed in the film. The expectation is that you will develop a short argument, with a clear thesis, that clearly gives your opinion about a particular topic and substantiates this opinion with information from the film.
film can be found here :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c28cUBjWtmc
Please do not summarize the film.
Please do not summarize the film.
Please do not summarize the film
Black gold film review
In the documentary film, the directors highlighted the plight of Ethiopian farmers. The film highlights efforts by Tadesse Meskela, who manages a coffee farmer’s cooperative union to lobby for better prices of coffee. Ethiopia is apparently a country which depends highly on coffee exportation. 67% of the country’s export revenue was from the coffee business. It is therefore considered as the gold of Ethiopia. However, the farmers claim, in this film that they grow and sell the coffee but remain with nothing as profit, that can bay feed them leave alone to educate their children. How can the gold of a country then not benefit its people? The presence of middlemen in coffee trade as well as the setting of prices by the world trade organization (WTO) which did not give voice to the poor nations like Ethiopia where coffee originated made the prices of coffee to go extremely low. The price fluctuation of coffee in the global market hurts the poor farmers in poor coffee producing countries the most.
Agriculture has been one industry ever affected by very steep fluctuation in market prices. In one time, coffee, one of the world cash crops was highly adored by many. In Ethiopia, the farmers call it black gold, which is symbolic of its color and its value. Viewing coffee as gold is similar to saying that in it there is a lot of money from which the farmers depend. The farmers can be likened to gold miners who mine their gold in tuff situations. For the farmers, the cost of production is high owing to the fact that coffee is a tree plant and therefore watering and weeding coffee farms is a tedious process (Francis, Francis & Hird, 2006). Such a practice is economical on a large scale basis. The small scale coffee growers, however, do not have the ability to purchase necessary pieces of equipment and cannot compete with large scale farmers in other countries like India and Brazil.
In addition to the high cost of production, the marketing channel is expensive. This is particularly because middlemen through whom the farmers market their coffee to the global market are corrupt and take huge shares at the expense of the farmer. The middlemen have a good knowledge of the global market and buy the coffee at the local prices while in the global markets they are able to reap huge amounts of money. This discourages farmers (Francis, Francis & Hird, 2006), some of whom uproot their coffee while others join hands in the corporative union to market their coffee abroad. Meskela, the manager of the union, therefore, moves from country to country trying to negotiate fairer prices for the farmers he represents.
The financial crisis in any business model affects the lower person in the rank the most. In this documentary for instance, when prices fluctuate, the farmer is the worse hit by the poor prices (Francis, Francis & Hird, 2006). At the grassroots, there are unfavorable weather conditions in which the farmers grow and harvest the coffee, yet there are no government subsidies and the price fluctuations land directly on them. This is discouraging for the heavy investments in coffee growing. In conclusion, the financial impact to the poor coffee farmers should, therefore, be considered when roasting and selling the coffee at retails should not only reflect value but also responsible behavior, an ethical duty.
Francis, M., Francis, N., & Hird, C. (2006). Black Gold [Film]. London, UK.: Speakit Films.