Most people do not know that coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. With the massive volume of beans traded and consumed each day it should come as no surprise that prices vary greatly. Coffee as a commodity trades on the Market for just over $1/lb but for most coffee farmers producing coffee at this price point is not only unreasonable but impossible. Take Yemen Coffee for example. Yemen Coffee Growers face challenges getting their coffee to market that would discourage even the toughest entrepreneurs and for not a lot of money. Years of civil war, general unrest, and Cholera in the region have almost decimated their coffee production. The trends show that at the current rate Yemen farmers will export less than a million pounds equaling less than 10,000 bags. Farmers there typically yield 10% of what they grow and own very few coffee plants. Not good for the second oldest coffee origin in the world. There is a huge misconception when it comes to the price of coffee. People seem to believe that coffee prices are indicative of how good it tastes. There are really two determining factors when it comes to coffee. 1) What it cost to produce and bring to market and 2) Supply and demand. Jamaican Blue Mountain is a great example of this. Japan buys 80% of the six million bags that Jamaica produces leaving the rest of the world to fight for what's left. Hawaii is the only developed coffee growing region and therefore faces cost associated with US labor laws and regulations. Meaning that workers get paid more to work less hours than anywhere else in the world. Producing coffee in Brazil is much easier and cheaper than the rest of the world. Highly commercialized farms designed to maximize profits and drive costs down make it impossible for smaller coffee farms around the world to compete. As a result large numbers of small specialty coffee farms are being abandoned and Brazil is steadily replacing them in the Market. Brazil will bring almost 60 million bags of coffee to market this year and all the Walmarts and Grocery chains shelves will be stocked from floor to ceiling with it. While Coffee Doc will always carry the Top Grade Brazilian varieties,our hearts will always drive us to promote and provide the Specialty Coffees that are fighting each day to keep their place in the world of coffee so that we may enjoy their unique origin and flavor. Cheers to these small farmers for without them there would be no Coffee Doc.
Aug 22nd 2020