Some countries insist that coffee pickers are paid by the hour. But in most places, they’re paid by how many cherries they pick in a day’s work.
There are risks associated with this – both for the producer and the picker. It’s harder to incentivise only picking ripe cherries. For the pickers, this system can ignore how difficult it is to pick steeper areas of the farm, or the lower pickings towards the end of the harvest. It doesn’t bring the security of a guaranteed income.
But it is usually fair and consistent, even if the C price is low that year.
Paid by Weight: A Coffee Picker’s Daily Wage
A picker will bring their sack(s) of cherries to the person in charge of weighing. While they could use a set of scales, it’s much quicker to use a box that has previously been weighed when full of cherries. The farm owners and pickers will have agreed to a certain price per box before harvest began. And after all the cherries have been weighed and those weights recorded, the workers receive their – typically low – wages.
Here’s it in action in Nicaragua, courtesy of Sweet Maria’s.
Feature photo credit: Tarrazu via Wikimedia
Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.
Want to read more articles like this? Sign up to our newsletter!