Sustainability In Coffee Essay

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Sustainability in coffee means different things to different people, but at its heart, it's about a healthy succession of the industry, from farmers to consumers, and everyone in-between. How much farmers grow and how many people are willing to drink it in cafes, restaurants and offices around the world should be able to define the price. Coffee is an interesting agricultural product, in that unlike other crops its production has not been overtaken by large agricultural businesses. Instead, coffee is grown mostly by independent farmers or by organised co-operatives and producer groups. More than 80 per cent of the world's coffee is exported from "developing" to "developed" countries, the result of which is a vast wealth difference between those…show more content…
This allows for traders to manipulate prices, based on the higher volume of future contracts they can buy and sell, without any regard for the actual cost of producing the coffee. They are trading paper and in doing so, are capable of creating a large vulnerability in the coffee market. At present coffee prices sit just below $1.20/lb, which is below, or in many cases far below, the cost of production in most growing countries. The effect of this is potentially damaging to the industry. Without the ability to make any money, many farmers will be likely to get into debt easier as they would need loans to help pay for materials and equipment for harvest and would be less likely to continue to grow coffee and would possibly start ripping out their trees to plant other crops that have value both at market and for subsistence purposes. Looking past the current conditions, there is also a pressing threat to the traditions that go into coffee production. Like any of the world's great trades, coffee culture needs to be passed down generationally. Without an opportunity to make a proper living, the coffee matriarchs, teachers, experts will have no incentive to educate their children, nor will their children want to continue the tradition of coffee farmers on. This, along with the lure of city life, higher education, and less

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