Juan Valdez Wants More Cash

If the coffee cartel gets its way, prices may soon go up

With his cream-colored sombrero, bushy mustache, and white cotton poncho draped over his shoulders, Dario Loaiza looks like he could have stepped out of an ad for Colombian coffee. But unlike the ubiquitous Juan Valdez, this veteran coffee farmer isn't smiling. Loaiza is getting less each week for the beans he sells at the coffee cooperative in Neira, a small town in eastern Colombia. "If coffee continues at this price, we're going to have to beg in the streets to support ourselves," grouses Loaiza, 57, standing inside the co-op's warehouse.

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