Coffee Regions: Environmental Tragedy & Political Strife

September 15, 2021 0 Comments

Coffee Regions: Environmental Tragedy & Political Strife

To many of us, it's not new news that the regions where the best coffee is grown are also constantly burdened by socio-economic and political strife. Poverty, corrupt governments, high crime, expansive class discrimination, and the like are what families living in these regions wake up to every day. Add to that environmental tragedies, and it means a world of hurt for our coffee farms, the families, and our coffee supply.

We've seen this in the coffee world even more with the impact of Covid-19 with minimal access to proper healthcare for sick families. Farms cannot find healthy people to help with the harvest, meaning a loss of coffee and with high demand, we've seen prices for skyrocketing.

We've also seen an uptick in political issues, such as what we've seen this year in Colombia. Farms that are able to harvest are having a hard time reaching the processing plants or exporting their coffees due to road closures.

More recently, Brazil has seen the worst frost in over 25 years, causing the loss of some major coffee crops and again, a boost in coffee prices due to lack of supply and an increase in demand. The black frost they've seen will kill many young plants, and if they do survive, they will never produce coffee. Many of the cherries on mature coffee plants were frozen, and just like our fruit-producing trees here in the States, the cherries have since rotted and bean quality will drop. Many farms have gone under as they have lost their entire crop and/or their coffee plants.

damaged coffee trees brazil

Image courtesy of Roast Magazine

What does this mean for Erie Coffee Roasters and you?

Well, we're still plucking our way out of Covid, and will be for the foreseeable future. Heartbreakingly, many of our wholesale clients went out of business, including restaurants, cafes and stores.

Based on Brazil and Colombia, coffee prices for all coffees, regardless of origin, are increasing at an astounding rate, both for green and roasted. As you've no doubt noticed, we've had to increase our prices as well. Will the prices drop? The short answer is 'No'. In order for us to keep our (and your) coffee quality standards at their peak, and to ensure we are only roasting the best and freshest coffee, we'll have to keep rolling with the punches & bending with the wind, as they say. We hope you will too.

Thanks so much, as always, for your dedication and support for our small business!

Cheers! Lisa & Nate