The most beloved bean on the planet is in trouble, and too few caffeine addicts know why.
Sad Coffee Mug By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), in their Coffee Market Report cultivated in October of 2019, the global production of coffee is to decrease in the 2019/2020 harvesting year.
As some major coffee bean suppliers suffer economic and monetary loses, other, smaller scale suppliers actually saw/may see, increase in their caffeine crop production. Unfortunately, for the coffee addicts of the world, these increases did not rear enough of the coffee crop to make up the difference overall in the number of "coffee bags" produced.
According to the ICO, the projected coffee bag numbers will fall from the 2018/2019 harvesting year, from 169 million bags to around 167.4 million bags. All while the consumer caffeine demand continues to increase, on the global scale.
But, the numbers are tricky.
Held Roasted Coffee Beans By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
Looking at the bigger picture of coffee production and consumption, the individual would assume that less coffee, means more demand, thus higher prices. Which--by traditional standards--would mean less coffee bought, as the prices rise, and thus less money made for coffee farmers, coffee traders, and coffee shops (even as big as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts). These assumptions could not be more incorrect. The opposite is actually true. Less coffee, leads to higher demand, higher prices, and thus, a more well-rounded trading and buyout system, according to Ritu Prasad in BBC News' How the 2019 Coffee Crisis Might Affect You.
Here lies, the coffee crisis.
Consumers, especially in the United States and United Kingdom, are seeing the prices for their beloved caffeinated beverage rise, but the production is still falling. Why? Because coffee farmers, the producers of the much-loved coffee bean, are suffering. As the caffeine prices rise for consumers, the payout for the producers is growing too uneven, as most often, the crop is only harvested once in bulk by any individual farm. The changes in weather conditions is the coffee farmer's biggest enemy. As coffee beans themselves, are rather fragile, and susceptible to changes within their natural eco system. In short, the planet's suffering eco system, is killing coffee, slowly but surely.
Now according to Ellie Hudson, in her article posted on the Specialty Coffee Association's News website, there are 6 stages to the coffee crisis. These stages outlined in her article, are as follows:
2) Risk Assessment
And finally.... 6) Recovery
"We Can Do This - Coffee" Mug By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
Currently, the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), places the world coffee crisis at stage 2-3 out of the 6, as of early 2019. The SCA, after paying witness to the crisis in its developing snowball phase potential, called the coffee community together to discuss the issues at hand, in an attempt to see which tools are available to the public, in order to save coffee.
As Ellie Hudson so precisely pointed out, "inaction is not an option".
Yet, as the SCA works on a more precise course of action for the coffee community to take, on a global scale, it is important to remember first and foremost that everyone must work together to stabilize the coffee market/coffee crop. Or risk seeing the most widely loved bean go extinct, before their very eyes.
In the meantime, as the SCA works to find a formulated cure to the coffee crisis, Dario Soto Abril and Roberto Velez are sharing their own opinions on how to stop the crisis in its tracks. Plain and simple.
According to these 2 CEOs, the only way to escape the coffee crisis, and thus save not only coffee itself, but the livelihood of millions of small scale farmers, is to simply pay more for the coffee being produced. On every level. The 2 posted on the In Depth News website, "coffee is one of the most frequently traded commodities in the world,". But, according to the same article, There's Only One Way Out Of The Coffee Crisis: Pay More, the problem does not lie within the consumer caffeine fan basis.
Roasted Coffee Beans In A Mug By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
Men and women everywhere are more than willing to pay the money for their favored variant of a cup-of-joe.
The problem's source lies within the international trade markets, and how much money they are willing to pay farmers, so that they continue farming.
"Panic, haha." Samantha Penso Said. "Actually, I'm not sure what I would do if I couldn't have coffee anymore," She said, "...probably cry...or die. I really can't live without it. I love it!"
Where it comes from a social, economic, personal, or cultural standpoint...coffee is an integral part of the earthly community. Even those individuals who do not drink coffee benefit from having caffeine as a consumable commodity. In short, the price of coffee cannot be sacrificed, if it means that the planet loses coffee altogether. The bean, at all costs, must be saved.