How is COVID-19 affecting the Coffee Supply Chain?

The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced many people’s lives from socially distancing to staying at home, we’re finally getting to grips with the new normal. Coffee is continuing to be consumed whether this is from a takeaway coffee shop or within people’s home. However, what does the pandemic mean for the coffee supply chain?

Why Is Coffee So Important to Farmer’s Livelihood?

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions being put into place across the world, coffee business continues. Coffee is a product that is agricultural where beans need to be grown and then processed. The coffee bean is a very valuable export for many countries and generates income for many people. It’s also a substantial producer of foreign revenues which is then taxed and invested into key areas such as education, infrastructure and health care. In many countries’ coffee is seen as a vital product. The mainstream of coffee farms and business have been able to operate through these unprecedented times.

What Are Some of the Obstacles Coffee Exporters & Producers Experiencing?

Exporting Coffee happens once a year, except from in Colombia where the climate suits multiple harvests. Different parts of the world have dissimilar seasons when they harvest their coffee. This means that because of the difference in seasons, they’re facing diverse effects from restrictions that have been put in place. Harvesting coffee cherries can continue with social distancing, however, this could be on a smaller work force meaning that less coffee cherries will be harvested. This has a knock-on effect to incomes of workers who are typically paid by the amount of coffee they pick and produce. Constraint on movement between countries is having huge effect on the obtainability of work force and transportation issues. Many farms are still dependent on manual labours. Many labourers often travel from different parts of the country, which is proving difficult recently.

How Are Coffee Producers Being Helped?

Many coffee farmers are taking precautions to make sure that farming of coffee can continue through the pandemic. These are precautions that many of us will be familiar with ~ hand washing, social distancing while harvesting the coffee, restrictions on meetings and rules on keeping safe when on the farm. Communication is key when it comes to looking after coffee farmers and this isn’t so easy. However, governments need to share important information on how farms can keep working safely. One example of this in happening in Columbia where a company have produced a radio message sharing some guidance to farmland owners on how to protect their workers during this difficult time.  

Contact Us for Coffee Industry Consultancy

If you’re looking for coffee industry consultancy services and are your business is struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, look no further, we have the industry experience to meet your requirements. Please get in touch with our friendly coffee engineers on 0844 692 2222 or you can click on the link below to contact us. We serve the UK and Ireland.