In the past week or so I’ve come across a number of articles in the news about coffee prices rising. “Pay UP or Perk Up”, and “Gulp! New coffee prices due to big dry will be hard to swallow” are just a couple of the “creative” shocking headlines I’ve run across. The stories remind me of Houston’s recent “Snowcaplypse” news reports. (I can’t believe we survived it!)
Houston coming to a stand still for a day or two of course is nothing compared to the actual problems that some Latin American countries are facing with coffee production. Brazil’s lack of rainfall for the past few months has lead to futures prices to almost double and today a state of emergency was declared in Minas Gerais due to insects called coffee borers. Also, Costa Rican farmers have reportedly lost 18% of it’s crop to Coffee Rust.
Without a doubt these are extremely serious issues that coffee farmers are facing. Their jobs are already hard enough as it is trying to produce coffee beans for little money and hard work without having to face added threats that can destroy not only their crops but their livelihood as well. So, I’m not sure that the price of our cup going up is something we really should be worried about.
However, it appears that we are safe from price hikes for now. Shop owners and coffee roasters are not having to pass on any added cost to their customers yet. ”Though Brazil is one of our favorite coffees to roast, we have other alternatives to keep our customers happy,” says Andrew Go, founder of Houston roaster Qahwa Coffee. “We also would not raise our prices on coffee unless it is absolutely needed, but so far with the projected prices on the forecast we wouldn’t do so.”
I personally would not have a problem paying extra for my coffee. I may have to cut back on how much I drink but if the quality is there then I wouldn’t mind. I do wish, though, that the extra money that farmers may or may not receive was because of the quality of their product and work and not because a forecasted shortage by the “bean counters.”