Brexit is likely to have a huge impact on the coffee industry. A cup of coffee in a coffee shop may become more expensive than it currently is. However, it may be a little cheaper for home brewers! The issue isn’t the price of beans, but the baristas are going to be affected. It won’t only have an impact on high street chains, it will affect a wide range of industries including: education, hospitality & heath. This will likely lead to a higher inflation.
Many baristas across the UK aren’t British citizens, large coffee companies like Costa supports the Barista visa proposal which enables short-term working visas for some barista positions. However, not all companies see a price rise, the Canadian coffee house Tim Horton opened UK stores after the EU Referendum and they continue to do, they presume the cost of coffee was going to remain stable.
Coffee is becoming more and more popular in the UK and demand is higher than ever before. Coffee sales are increasing by 20% every year, according to E-Imports dominating other commodities. According to Ceutagroup, In the UK brits drink 95 million cups of coffee a day, this is an increase of 25 million over the last 10 years. The UK pays the highest price in the world for roasted coffee per pound, second on the list is Malta. Both of these countries are members of the European Union. The reasons for this are unknown. Many coffee experts put it down to the refined market in the UK and the excellent quality product our baristas produce.
Although the European Union could be potentially damaging the coffee industry for the British consumers and the African farmers. The EU currently enforces a 7.5% tariff on all roasted coffee which severely damages consumers and farmers alike. Germany & Belgium are in the top ten exporters off coffee even though neither countries actually grows it. However, coffee is frequently shipped unroasted to avoid this tariff.
Some opposers of Brexit claim if we were to engage with farmers, the system could become fairer for them. However, a lot of the time producers of coffee in Africa want protection. It has been reported that we will increase trade with the Commonwealth after Brexit. This rise will help reduce trade costs for developing countries and will reduce the time needed to import goods. This will hopefully enhance the fresh ingredients coming into the UK.
Overall Brexit will always divide opinion, it looks like it will be the case for the coffee industry. However, we may see enhanced support for farmers which supports the Fairtrade movement.
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