We all love and drink coffee, and nobody wants to pay an arm and a leg for it. But, by keeping coffee prices so low, we may be causing it to go into extinction.
A full assessment of the world’s coffee supply shows that 60% of known plant species are facing possible extinction. Factoring in climate change, scientists expect that by 2088, 50% or more of the wild plants will be decimated.
Wild coffee is critical in sustaining the world demand for the product. And the sustainability of the supply chain is directly connected to the wild coffee plants.
As with any commodity, sustainability comes with a cost to both consumers and businesses. As the natural supply decreases, companies have to find new ways to stabilize and cultivate the plant. This takes time and money.
Companies had previously been able to harvest the natural plants. But now they must invest more money into the actual growth of the plants. With the low prices in Europe and around the world, South American growers (which produce most of the world’s supply) are unable to keep up with the growing demand while protecting natural reserves.
Worsening the situation, the prices of coffee have been decreasing over the past five years, as MicroTrends shows. This makes it even harder for companies producing it to have enough money to fund sustainable agricultural techniques and replenish the world’s natural resource.
Without an increase in prices, we are not supporting sustainable producers. We are slowly killing coffee.
People drink coffee around the world every day, and no one wants to have that taken away. Coffee prices must be raised to ensure the future production of the world’s favorite breakfast drink.
In order to do so, consumers must push for change. Invest a little extra in buying the more expensive but sustainable coffee. Consumers’ push for change should force top buyers (industries and countries) to buy better quality coffee. It should also result in prices that are fair to all. This will not only guarantee coffees’ existence in the future but also stimulate innovation.