With coffee prices still falling rapidly, is the coffee industry doing anything to help?
We are sure that the idea of a world without coffee will raise alarm bells in your minds, but the truth is that one day, this could actually be reality. Market research suggests that by 2050 the demand will outweigh appropriate coffee farming land by double.
Roughly 25 million families produce coffee worldwide and currently most can’t even cover their production costs, let alone create a sustainable life for themselves and their family.
The time has come for the coffee chain to stop just discussing falling coffee prices and actually help these communities! The World Coffee Producers Forum has seen the devastation and are calling for immediate action to be taken on international coffee prices. This year we have reached a historical low of USD$0.95 per pound. Leading the charge on change is Colombia who is calling for 35 coffee-producing countries to address the current international pricing crisis at this year’s forum.
The world consumes 1.4 billion cups of coffee per day and consumers are forking out top dollar for their morning coffee. In 2018 you could have paid anywhere from USD$3.12 in the US to USD$6.24 in Copenhagen for your coffee. The average price per pound of coffee in 2018 averaged just USD$1.01. This is a stark difference from the 1980s when coffee prices fluctuated between USD$1.18 and USD$1.41 per pound and you could purchase yourself a cup of coffee for USD$1.10.
Falling prices have a devastating effect on rural communities. Many people in rural coffee producing countries such as Africa, Asia and Latin America resort to committing criminal offences to survive and those living in cities are experiencing more poverty than ever before. The current pricing crisis has led many farmers feeling as though they have to grow illegal crops to make ends meet. Along with these social problems, quality and availability is also being threatened. Those coffee farmers who remain within the coffee sector soon won’t be able to take proper care of their farms, which will lead to improper management of the crops and poorer quality beans.
The World Coffee Producers Forum will be held in Brazil later this year where coffee producing countries will meet to discuss this looming crisis and aim to both address and resolve scenarios that compromise the coffee industry’s future. We just hope that it’s not too late!
It is important to St Remio to keep the consumers up-to-date with serious issues such as this so we can work together to keep the industry alive. That is why we choose to donate a portion of profits into education and infrastructure at the source to ensure we are providing rural farming communities in third world countries the best opportunity to sell their coffee at the best market rates. So next time you purchase your coffee, might be time to switch to brands that are making conscience decision to have a positive impact on the growers and support people and families back at the source.
Bean Scene Magazine 2019, ‘World Coffee Producers Forum declares need for action on coffee price’, Coffee News, viewed 8/04/2019, <https://www.beanscenemag.com.au/world-coffee-producers-forum-action-coffee-price/>
Bean Scene Magazine 2019, ‘No death to coffee’, Features Industry Profiles International, viewed 8/04/2019, <https://www.beanscenemag.com.au/no-death-to-coffee/>
World Coffee Producers Forum 2019, ‘A network of coffee, a coffee producer family’, Home, viewed 8/04/2019, <https://www.worldcoffeeproducersforum.com.br/en/>