Kelly Austin links coffee exports to poverty

From the Fall 2013 issue of Acumen, the magazine of Lehigh University's College of Arts & Sciences (p. 9): 

Austin, assistant professor of sociology, studied the percentage of coffee exports as a ratio of all agricultural exports, assessing a country’s dependence on coffee in particular. Austin found that coffee exports have especially negative ecological, social and physical impacts on developing nations. “Nations with an increased dependence on coffee exports have high levels of deforestation, increased problems with malnutrition and hunger, and lower levels of participation in secondary schooling,” Austin says. “Much of this connects back to the unique features of coffee. Coffee doesn’t contribute to household nutrition or health. Communities can’t fall back on it for household consumption. It’s also very labor intensive. Coffee cherries have to be picked by hand, so production tends to pull children and family members out of school.”

Read the full article on Kelly's research here (PDF).