Irish coffee drinkers will find the hard way early next year that the climate crisis is affecting every facet of life, including their morning cup of coffee – with potentially ‘dazzling’ price increases on the cards.
A particularly severe frost in the middle of the Brazilian winter in July destroyed a third of the crop in the Arabica-growing region, meaning the commodity is seeing its price skyrocket. While frosts are taken care of by Brazilian farmers, the severity of it caught them off guard.
Irish coffee industry experts have warned that, combined with the fallout from the global supply chain from the Covid-19 pandemic and social unrest in coffee-producing countries such as Colombia, drinkers may be expect significant increases in the first quarter of the new year.
Rob Horgan of award-winning roasters Velo Coffee Roasters, as well as Cafe Velo in Cork city center, warned that the potential price increases for Irish coffee drinkers could come as a shock.
âThe price of coffee is based on the C Market in New York – if you go there last year, the price would have been stable at around $ 1.15. Right now it’s $ 1.95 and broke the $ 2 mark.
âPeople like us West Cork Coffee and Badger & Dodo buy specialty coffee. This C price is for industrial coffee which is mass harvested, but our coffee is hand picked and processed with the best of the harvest. We would have the best of coffees at 13 â¬ per kilo, it is causing a sensation across the range.
“We are fortunate to be partially isolated as we would have contracted our coffee forward, but we have informed our customers that in the first quarter of next year there will be price increases – and they will be. important. “
Market research firm IBISWorld has predicted that prices could skyrocket to $ 4.44 per kilogram this year, indicating that those who can’t start their morning without a brew should prepare for the inevitable blow in the pocket.
Mr Horgan said the shortage is expected to be $ 30 million this year.
Multiple factors have combined to bring the current situation to a head, Horgan said.
âThe Brazilian harvest has been hit hard by the frost this year,â he said.
âBrazil is an unusual origin in that they harvest most of the year, whereas if you go to India or El Salvador they harvest once a year.
âThe other factor is that Colombia is the second largest producing region, and the current unrest in the country has spread from cities to regions. Getting out of the containers from Colombia is now much more difficult.
âOn top of that, there is the global problem of container shipping. “
Supply chains across the world have been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, causing significant delays and particularly hitting small businesses.
Coffee is just one of many sectors affected, with shipping costs rising from around â¬ 2,850 per container to over â¬ 8,600.