In May of this year (2019), coffee prices on the stock market fell to their lowest point in more than a decade.
As an end user in the coffee chain, you likely didn’t notice a price decrease in your morning cup of joe. This is because the retail price of coffee is not often closely linked to the price being paid to coffee farmers. So, a sharp decline in the global coffee market is not going to have a quick impact on your monthly coffee drinking budget (yes, for some of us it needs to be a separate budget category).
For MILLIONS of families around the world, however, this decline makes a big difference on their ability to support themselves with basic living needs. Globally, the coffee industry supports over 21 million families. That is a lot of people being negatively impacted by a decline in the coffee industry. Many coffee farmers this year likely were not even able to break even from their coffee harvests.
Much of this decline in price is due to a surplus of coffee coming out of Brazil (the world’s largest exporter of coffee) in the past two years. According to this article, coffee farmers globally are feeling the effects from this surplus and many of them are being forced to abandon their farms to try to find something more sustainable to support their family. This could potentially wreak long-term havoc on the global coffee industry.
The struggles of coffee farmers ring true to us here at Javataza Coffee. Since we have people on the ground in coffee growing countries that have direct communication with coffee farmers, we are always hearing first-hand the strain that coffee farmers face.