Low Inventory + Increased Demand = Higher Prices

Monday, May 30th, 2011No Comments



CROPS CAN’T KEEP UP WITH SKYROCKETING DEMANDS
Shawn McCarthy (From Saturday’s Globe and Mail)

On a mountaintop estate in the rugged coffee-making region of Quindio, Colombia, Juan Pablo Villota is at war with the weather.

For three years, abnormally wet conditions have caused massive flooding in the county’s flatlands and damage to his crops. Even the road to his 40-hectare plantation gives testament to his fight: The swollen La Vieja river is a muddy torrent that has forced lane closings along the twisting two-lane highway.

For coffee producers like Mr. Villota, those three years have been a constant battle. Without enough sun, coffee plants don’t grow the berries that are harvested for their beans. And too much humidity creates ideal conditions for coffee rust, a disease that stunts berry production. Some farmers have seen a 70-per-cent drop in yield, although his San Alberto estate has limited the damage to a 20-per-cent decline.

“It has been a disaster,” said Mr. Villota, whose grandfather bought the picturesque estate in 1972. “Three years of heavy rains with very low quantity of sun hours has decreased Colombian production … All the growers have been suffering.”

The painful struggle of Colombia’s coffee producers is part of a growing global challenge for the industry.

Changing weather patterns have wreaked havoc on coffee supply, particularly the Arabica strain, which is grown in the Americas and Africa and which makes the best coffee. Brazil and Colombia are the top two producers of Arabica, but experts say the crops are not keeping up with skyrocketing demand in emerging markets like China, India and South America, as well as among consumers in Europe and North America.

Read the rest of the story here
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Kelowna British Columbia’s Cherry Hill Coffee has been roasting organic coffee in the Okanagan for 25 years


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