Political pressure has been placed on European Union ministers to press for reforms to the world coffee trading system, which has experienced a 50% drop in producer prices over the past three years, slashing the income of producers.

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly supported a resolution calling for the EU to take a development plan to May 19th's International Coffee Organisation/World Bank meeting.

This would suggest to the organisation of producers to strengthen their control over prices in a sector which, MEPs say, is "dominated by four multinationals (Nestlé, Kraft, Sara Lee et Procter & Gamble)." Parliament's resolution called for "companies and traders to…(pay)…prices which take account of the social and environmental needs of (producers)."