The Pilot's Blog

The Colombian Coffee Crisis (Will It Affect You?)

Before you take that first sip of your morning cup of coffee tomorrow, take a second to think of all of the people and steps involved in the production process.  Lots of people over thousands of miles.

Unfortunately, one of the first and most important steps in the coffee creation process, bean creation and selection, has become a major problem in the country of Colombia.  Coffee growers there remain on strike, which began on February 25, 2013, until the government agrees to offer more financial support.

As the world’s top producer of high-quality Arabica beans as well as many of our own Roasterie blends, Colombia has been hit with poor weather and crop disease.  This has led to a new two-year low for Colombian Milds, at $1.65/lb.

Are the growers just being stubborn and greedy?  The numbers would show they are not.  According to Reuters, growers are receiving around $288 American for 125-kg bags, while production costs are looming around $360 for an efficient grower.  Normal growers are paying as much as $387.

To make matters worse, truck drivers are also unhappy with high fuel prices and have joined the protesting efforts.

In an effort to combat the strikes, the Colombian government raised the subsidy paid to the farmers, but apparently that offer wasn’t good enough to stop the picket signs and chants.  The farmers are demanding a minimum price that buyers must pay for the beans.

Despite the initial subsidy raise, strike leaders say they refuse to end the protests unless the government agrees to set the minimum price of the 125-bags at the $360 mark.  That way, it is much easier for growers to increase the ability to be profitable.

It doesn’t appear that either side is willing to budge until they are satisfied.  What does this mean for you and your cup of coffee?  Due to the strong relationship ties we have with our Colombian partners, we will not be seeing a gap in deliveries, so you will be able to continue to enjoy this spectacular Colombian Coffee!

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