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Puerto Rico coffee growers turn to jails to ease labour shortage

In an effort to stem severe crop losses and jump-start its coffee industry, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has turned to welfare recipients and prison inmates to harvest this year's coffee beans.

The program is part of an initiative to restore Puerto Rico's struggling coffee industry to its grandeur before neglect, bad weather and labor shortages of the early 19th Century caused the island's brews to fall out of favor across Europe, including at the Vatican.

The Chicago Tribune reports.

Posted by Cynthia on January 5, 2006 at 12:57 PM in Coffee, Puerto Rico | Permalink