Production & Trade

Specialty coffee gives too much credit to direct trade

"Direct trade" is a founding principle of specialty coffee. However, as many across the sector hailed it, supply chain intermediaries have received widespread criticism

Is hand-picking coffee actually the best option for the future?

For many, hand-picking coffee represents the pinnacle of quality. However, with most of the people that pick the coffee lacking basic human necessities and social security, is it really that glamorous?

Why farmers don’t drink their own coffee

For various practical and cultural reasons, farmers don't tend to drink their own coffee. However, this is starting to change, and it could be for the betterment of the industry that it is.

Should coffee varieties be “owned”?

For many years, coffee varieties have been artificially developed to increase production yields, improve quality, combat plant diseases, and adapt to different environmental conditions. But can a single entity "own" one?

Why are coffee producers selling their coffee on Amazon?

Digital sales channels have become crucial for roasters, but coffee producers have started stepping into the digital ring, too.

Saudi Arabia is throwing everything it can at the coffee industry

Saudi Arabia has been investing massive resources into its coffee industry, as part of an effort to diversify away from oil.

What happens to a specialty coffee brand when it gets acquired?

Over the last decade, the coffee has become increasingly consolidated. It's therefore an important question to ask – what happens to a specialty coffee brand when they get acquired?

Is it time to scrap coffee roasters’ sustainability initiatives?

Coffee roasters' sustainability initiatives have become a common theme in the specialty sector – but should we reconsider how effective they are?

Will AI set a new standard for green coffee quality?

There has been a longstanding conversation about how to objectively define green coffee quality. And as pricing mechanisms rely on a quantifiable measurement of quality, this represents an issue that is challenging to resolve. 

Does Ethiopia’s civil war affect the country’s coffee production?

Coffee production may be fuelling Ethiopia's civil war – as the government uses it to bank more US dollars to buy foreign arms

Coffee farmers need more than higher prices

Despite the C price fluctuating over the last few years – with some comparatively significant highs – many smallholder coffee farmers didn’t see a rise in earnings. As such, it's become clear that higher prices is not the sole solution.

Can a constant push for innovation ever be sustainable for coffee farmers?

Long-term trading relationships and innovation are two central tenets of specialty coffee - but can coffee farmers have both?

Sri Lanka shows promise as an emerging coffee origin

Sri Lanka continues to be associated with tea production, largely driven by decades of government investment and policy directed towards infrastructure and development in the sector. However, the country could soon become a notable coffee origin.

Has data on coffee warehouse stocks ever been that reliable?

In May, a crucial data point used to gauge the health of the coffee industry was lost - the GCA stopped publishing coffee warehouse stocks data

Reforms hope to change Kenyan coffee for the better

Kenyan coffee is under threat from profiteering actors in the supply chain. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's reforms hope to change that.

Do we still need Q graders?

The Q grader programme is dedicated to evaluating the sensory qualities of coffee. But when you can't decide what "quality" means, what happens to Q graders?

EU deforestation laws could mean chaos for coffee

Politically speaking, EU deforestation laws have become a hot topic, and the coffee industry could suffer.

Is buying cherry instead of parchment good for coffee producers?

Selling coffee as cherry has become increasingly popular in coffee-growing regions around the world. But is this shift good for coffee producers?

The coffee industry is not addressing climate change – it’s just adapting to it

As the coffee industry reacts to the effects of climate change, it could be argued it is taking an adaptive approach, rather than a mitigative one.

Will supply issues ever push arabica-robusta prices to parity?

Growing demand is driving robusta prices up, while arabica prices remain low. But is there any chance that the market prices for arabica and robusta will equalise?