Our coffee news comes from Karl Wienhold, founder of Direct Origin Trading, a group of farmers and coffee-lovers dedicated to improving conditions in rural communities. They aim to accomplish this by improving cup quality and environmental responsibility; ensuring that farmers are fairly compensated for these aspects via transparent, direct trade. You can learn more about the benefits for farmers and purchase/delivery of specialty-grade microlots of some of the world’s best coffee products at www.directorigin.com.
1) Coffee is the largest food import for the United States and the world’s second most valuable commodity, behind only oil.
2) Global coffee prices—“C” price—fluctuate wildly based on speculators who trade 8-10 times the amount of coffee actually produced every year.
3) The “C” price of coffee has dropped over 50% in the last 5 years. 2011 represented the highest prices for coffee in history.
4) 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by 25 million small farmers. Many have no idea why the prices fluctuate.
“25 million smallholder farmers are made vulnerable by the fluctuations of the coffee market, and it’s our responsibility, as ethical consumers, to be aware of this when we purchase our drinks.” —K. Wienhold, Direct Origin Trading
More reading (Karl’s articles in Perfect Daily Grind):
An Unstable Market: The Economics of Global Coffee Prices
What Effect Does the C Market Have on Small Coffee Farmers?
Learn more about the Direct Trade model