In the last decade we have seen an increase in coffee consumption, with the popularity growing from drip coffee to the more fancy vanilla lattes or flat whites. Whilst the value of the global coffee industry has almost doubled during this time, farmers have had been struggling to break even.
Even though we have seen prices of our cup of coffee rising in the last few years, only a shocking 10p for every £2.50 spent goes to the farmers, whilst the rest of our money goes on the running costs and profits of coffee shops.
While Brazil has been dominating the coffee market, being the largest producer and exporter of coffee, with its farmers being able to grow their beans at lower costs and break even, due to their mass production and much simpler methods. The smaller more independent farmers growing specialty coffee producing more unique flavors, have been struggling, with many not even being able to break even due to their high costs of production.
Some global companies including Starbucks and Nestle, have been running campaigns and investing in programs to help support local farmers in the more independent farms. As well as using unique stories of farmers to market some of the more individual coffee brands, promoting a fairer wage for the farmers.
If this price range continues, there will be an increase in unemployment in the sector, with many farmers not being able to maintain growing higher quality beans, due to high maintenance costs and some will be forced to stop their coffee production all together.
If nothing is done about this issue, it will lead to a large decrease of the premium higher quality coffee and the variety that we currently have, with majority of our coffee being imported from Brazil.