Time To Regulate the Coffee Market

The price of Arabica coffee is now less than a dollar, One when we got to hear the news of the coffee’s price getting lower than 100 pennies per pound was a piece of shocking news. We have got more used to of this news.

The coffee producing countries all around the world are now meeting together to protest at the next UN general assembly, to demand for higher rates of their coffee. The significance of this crisis is always on the minds of those countries who are suffering from the crisis.

Bloomberg reports that according to the head of Colombia’s coffee growing federation Roberto Velez, the Brazilian president will join the Colombian president to demand higher prices for their farmers.

According to Velez, it’s not only the farmers who are complaining, but the governments are also demanding higher prices from the roasters.

Coffee prices have always been a concern for the farmers, and the complaint is not something new. But this is the first time that the high-level officials are commenting on the situation. Previously, there have been instances where general statements were issued about coffee prices. But it is the first time a specific sector has been targeted and a complaint is being launched.

Coffee companies are focused on the quality of commodities but they are not paying a price that a coffee producer deserves. The real issue here is global capitalism that is more confined to a certain class of people. The deserving farmers do not receive the amount they should for their hard work.

Unless there are some regulations put forward, the trend of the coffee market won’t change. The ones who are suffering will continue to suffer and the rich ones will continue to get richer.

The ones who are suffering can’t afford to sit and wait to be paid more than what they are being paid. Meritocracies aren’t working in this case and there is a need for some sort of price regulation. Starbucks has stated that they are paying more than the other roasters around, which is right, but the point is that even when they are paying more this is way less than what the producers actually deserve.

With this statement, Starbucks had, to an extent played safe, and avoided criticism.

Speaking upon Bloomberg’s request, Nestle stated, “the present period of historically low Arabica prices due to a record Brazilian crop is causing hardship for many coffee farmers. It is not sustainable for the coffee sector in the medium term. We strongly believe that coffee farmers should earn a sufficient income to cover production costs and maintain a decent standard of living.”  This is what the company believes, but they won’t pay more until they are asked to do so.

Neither Nestle or Starbucks or any other company would afford to lose their market share so they would just keep on paying the same amount as they have been no matter how much they disagree with the prices and how many statements they issue. There is only one way that this can be done, and that is by making rules that they’ll have to oblige to.

Those in power will have to understand that the only option is regulating the coffee market. And the presidents of Brazil and Colombia have taken the right step towards this, but this is just the start. They’ll need to make the roasters pay more and regulate the coffee market.

Written by Carol Graham

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