In an increasingly global economy, where the profit margins of huge multinational coffee companies continue to rise, prices paid for coffee harvests have reached an all-time low, forcing farmers in some of the world's poorest countries to abandon their once bountiful fields. Among the hardest hit by the devastating effects of this crisis is Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to bring a fair-trade market to the more than 70,000 struggling farmers whom he represents.
As these hard-working people strive to keep the rich cultural heritage of their country intact by continuing to harvest some of the highest-quality coffee beans available, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find a fair price for the fruits of their labor. This seemingly Sisyphean endeavor takes him on an international journey to some of the biggest coffee marketplaces in the world, where he discovers that there are no easy solutions for the trade issues facing his impoverished countrymen.
Black Gold is a moving and eye-opening look into the 80-billion-dollar global coffee industry, whose spoils are sparsely shared with the farmers who make it all possible.