WHILE IT may seem simple and straightforward, paying more for coffee does not solve as many problems as the specialty coffee market might think it does. But with the global coffee industry now turning over $495bn in 2023, how is it that the average income for coffee farmers has not changed in the past 20 years?
COFFEE FARMERS work hard to produce consistent harvests year-round, yet they are generally "price takers", especially smallholders. And while the industry is focusing more on transparency on the consumer side, it may not be as effective as we think. A coffee price guide has become an industry standard – a way for roasters to show how much they are paying their producers.
For some, the coffee industry’s social sustainability goals are not ambitious enough and the whole supply chain must be decolonised: a scenario in which control over the final product is put back into the hands of those who produced it.
The term "micro lot" should denote a coffee that adds value to the producer end, supports growing regions and offers stability. This definition does not have to lose its sense of “quality”, but purchasers need to buy into the sustainability of the coffee they purchase.
The purchase of ailing coffee farms has become a long-term solution for those with the resources to invest in them.
The influence of coffee associations grew after the ICO's price agreement collapsed in 1989. But direct trade now presents a more attractive alternative for many.
By 2025, nearly 60% of Egypt’s population will be considered “middle class" – and they're showing a growing appetite for high-quality coffee.
Over the last few months Colombia’s cooperatives have lost some $120m due to defaults on futures contracts.
In 2020, an estimated 23% of Salvadoran families lived on less than $5 a day. The average annual amount sent back per migrant, on the other hand, is $4,300.
Consolidation has become a defining characteristic of the coffee industry – but is working for coffee farms?
A Chinese company recently paid more than $400/lb for an Ethiopian Sidama coffee. Where will it end?
The discrepancy is largely due to scarcity and marketing – although other factors are also at play.
Young farmers returning from jobs in the city are disillusioned with power structures. A few have taken matters into their own hands.
The streets of Amman, Jordan’s capital city, brim with coffee shops open all night long, where shining Arabic coffee pots – known as dalahs – serve visitors by the dozen.
As of September 2021, more than 53% of Kenyans owned a smartphone – and coffee farmers are harnessing them to become more efficient than ever.
Costa Rican coffee farmers pioneered honey processing; then other origins soon followed.
Single origin coffees once dominated the specialty coffee market. Now, more and more businesses are tapping into the potential of blends.
For many of the world’s producers, knowledge of what happens to their coffee ends long before it finds its way into a consumer’s cup.
High coffee prices fuel a thriving local economy – but market volatility can have disastrous consequences.
Evidence suggests a link between athletic performance & caffeine consumption – but margin gains are small.