What makes coffee different from other commodities? How does climate change impact supply – and is a high supply really a good thing, anyway? What’s the future of Central American farming without public sector investment?
All big questions – and all things discussed in the 2014 Let’s Talk Coffee convention in Panama, under the title Building a World-Class Supply Chain. Speaking were Leslie Josephs of the Wall Street Journal, Carlos Brando of P&A Marketing, and Ric Rhinehart of SCAA.
Here’s what was discussed.
What Is a World-Class Supply Chain?
With the drought that hit Brazil in 2014, concerns over the harvest – and how a smaller harvest might effect the global industry – were highly relevant to the panel topic. Carlos Brando voiced concerns over climate change; Leslie Josephs, however, questioned whether a strong supply was a positive thing or not.
Also explored was the changing consumer relationship to coffee – and how that altered understanding of value. In particular, the panelists emphasised that rise of the single-serve coffee, the café coffee, makes it easier to attach a higher value.
Public Sector Investment & the Future of Production
There was also a focus on public sector investment and how that will impact future production levels and trade models. Carlos Brando said that P&A predict that, by 2020, eight or nine countries will be responsible for 90% of coffee production.
Ric Rhinehart also compared Central America to Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia to state that, without more public sector investment, we will see a decrease in yield but a higher quality from Mesoamerican coffees. Leslie Josephs also underscored that one of the things separating coffee from other commodities is the lack of government support, mainly because it’s generally an export commodity.
Find out more in this video recording:
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Feature photo credit: Let’s Talk Coffee
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