Every one is usually elated to hear that the cost of a good or service will be going down or they may see a reduction in cost. However with the effects on farmers, that is not the case. When the supplies’ price goes down and demand stays the same, the price given to the farmer for his crops goes down as well, since coffee is traded as a commodity. What that basically means is that the coffee industry is seeing a lower “C’ price as stated by The ICO composite indicator price — reflecting the market value for Colombian Milds, Other Milds, Brazilian Naturals and Robustas — averaged 107.03 US cents per pound in October 2013, a 4.3 percent decrease from September, and its lowest level since March 2009.
This is good news for consumers if the trend stays the same and is reflected in the 2013-2014 crops being harvested now. Quoted from an article in The Daily Coffee News fro Roast Magazine, ” The ICO points out that in real terms — taking into account inflation, cost of living and other economic factors — the October indicator was below its average in January 2000, which was the beginning of the “coffee crisis.” The ICO is frank in its assessment of current coffee prices, saying the results may be incredibly damaging to farmers relying on coffee income.” This statement is quite alarming for those Farmers who depend on the profits from their crops to survive. Coupled with this trend is the leaf rust problem, which may see farmers abandoning their fields with the sentiment that it is not financially worth it to keep them operating.
What the long lasting effects on farmers will be is up to their ability to sustain through times like these. In some countries, fields can be used for cocoa, avocados, and other agricultural resources. In Jamaica, Coffee farmers will use land to grow crops for themselves such as fruits and vegetables to feed their families. It would be safe to consider that any Arabica producing region could sustain other crops to bring in additional income if their land provides the space, and conditions. This is the intended benefit of fair trade- that farmers can look at their fields and gain the business acumen to benefit themselves using the resources they already have.
One of the crops not effected is our own Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. Since our coffee is so limited and rare, it is not traded as a commodity and does not figure in to the decline in price that has potential detrimental effects on farmers. We are in full swing harvesting for the new crop, with eager hopes to come back after the effects of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The benefit of farming such a small crop is sustainability in that there is always a high demand, and provided the farmers can get fair pay in a timely fashion, mother nature is the biggest variable that may have any effects on farmers. That is not to say we are not susceptible to economic changes, but we have a different perspective than most, and are not about to quit any time soon.
Though we see our own struggles such as the Global Leaf Rust epidemic and Berry Borer infestation, we keep fighting the good fight to bring you
“Absolutely the Best Coffee in The World”.
As long as the soil provides, the sun shines, and the clouds make it rain, we will be bringing you Reggie’s Roast 100% Certified Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee right from our own farms in Jamaica to your cup!