The price of commodity coffee has been sinking to terrible lows. This is affecting coffee farmers negatively in a big way: many will be paid a price, this year, below their cost of production.
This is especially terrible in Central America (Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico). Coffee trees there are being attacked by a virulent fungus called RUST (many in the coffee business call it by its Spanish name, ROYA). It is estimated nearly 400,000 people will be jobless this year because of it – with worse to come next year as Rust spreads still further. Farmers must spend much more, at a time when prices are sinking, to spray with fungicides and improve agricultural practices to give their trees all the health and resilience they can muster. Organic farms are being forced to drop their certification and spray to survive or go broke.
See the CNBC video below to get an idea about the commodity market and what is happening:
Why we are not dropping prices, like the big companies are: it is because our Terroir coffees are bought directly at way over commodity market prices and over Fair Trade as well. Quality coffees, especially those purchased directly, as our Terroir coffees are, are immune to commodity market prices. We are proud of that. Without the dedicated farmers we buy from we would all be offering only swill.
See the Wall Street Journal article here on rust devastating coffee crops: