Say it isn’t so!
Yes you read that correctly — we will soon be facing a worldwide coffee shortage. According to the latest coffee production figures, although we are experiencing a slight surplus of the bean this year, it is not going to last for much longer.
Brazil, producer of one-third of the world’s favorite morning beverage, has been experiencing a severe and persistent drought. While the country generally produces 55 million bags a year, this drought cut production by 5 million bags last year, and the decline is expected to continue.
But how is it that we have a slight surplus this year? According to the report published by the Foreign Agricultural Service, we can thank Indonesia, Honduras and Vietnam (the second largest supplier) for picking up the slack. The bean-growing conditions in these countries are perfect right now, however, their outputs are expected to dip before Brazil recovers from the drought. And this short-lived surplus won’t be enough to compensate for the rise in coffee consumption around the world — particularly since people in developing countries like Brazil, China and India are developing a taste for the delicious bean.
“More people are drinking coffee,” Kim Elena Ionescu, a coffee buyer and sustainability manager for Counter Culture said to The Guardian. “And more people are drinking better coffee.”
“Regardless of what happens in Brazil now … we will see higher prices and more competition for higher-quality coffee,” said Ionescu. Higher prices are definitely something consumers do not like. However, if the industry cannot keep up with demand, a price hike is inevitable. According to coffee experts, production needs to rise by 40 to 50 million bags over the next 10 years to meet demand — and it is unclear how climate change will affect coffee growth during that time.
Although we will not feel the effects of the shortage this year, a shortage will, without a doubt, occur. Maybe we should start to consider other things to wake us up in the morning? Or maybe we should panic and stock up? I will be right back… there is something I forgot to buy at the store.
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