The coffee cherry comes a long way from plantation to the barista. Nearly 40% of coffee is grown in Brazil, followed by Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Honduras and Africa. However over-production in Brazil, coupled with currency devaluation, the Brazilian Real is 60% less valuable than it was in 2011, resulting in cheap coffee prices. Due to a dramatic decline in coffee prices, millions of coffee farmers are struggling to make enough to live on or to support their families.
These low coffee prices are having a negative impact on our coffee farmers, who are unable to cover their expenses and make a profit. Imagine going to work every day and not earning enough to eat and cover basic needs, such as food, healthcare and education. If things don’t change, more farmers will be forced to abandon coffee plantations and migrate to urban areas or abroad, just to survive. Furthermore, in the blink of an eye farms are disappearing and demand for our much loved bean will be unable to be supplied. As an industry we need to consider this ethic dilemma and ensure we pay our farmers fairly and above commodity price, to ensure they can sustain viable farming practices.
Valuing and caring deeply for our coffee farmers around the globe, I am deeply saddened that many coffee producers are struggling. Having recently hosted Boyce Harries a 6th generation Coffee Farmer from Kenya at Wolff Coffee Roasters, we heard first hand the impact how low priced coffee is devaluing the margin chain and hurting those on the land the most by not being paid a fair an equitable price.
This International Coffee Day 2019, Tuesday 1st October Wolff Coffee Roasters, will be shining a spotlight on the plight of millions of coffee farmers around the world, who deserve to receive a living income. We are supporting and sharing International Coffee Organization (ICO) initiative #coffeepledge (which brings together the governments of countries in which coffee is produced, processed or consumed) to highlight the plight of coffee farmers and the urgent need to take collective action.
Put your voice and weight behind our #coffeepledge movement. Share the pledge on social media using #coffeepledge and #internationalcoffeeday and post a video of why you support a living income for coffee farmers and their families. Together we can make a difference.
Blog Post by Penny Wolff