Why Coffee Commodity Prices Have Doubled and Why They Will Double Again

Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world, with massive global consumption rates and rising demands for luxury coffee exports. But with it comes rising prices. And in the next few years, coffee commodity prices are expected to double again.

At the center of this price surge is Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee and the farmers and cultivators who bring their flavor game from the fields to the cup.

Let's dive into the reasons contributing to the soaring prices, how Jamaican gourmet coffee brands are ready to take on the international coffee trade, and what it means for premium Jamaican coffee.

Sustainability and Marketability in Blue Mountain

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee has been sought-after for years because of its taste and originality. Cultivation in the purely volcanic fertile soil of the Blue Mountain range has earned Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee its distinction.

With its misty cloud cover around the mountainous range, the beans have a light and mild acidic taste that many coffee lovers look for. Moreover, the Blue Mountain community is involved in the entire process, from planting to processing, grading, and handling coffee beans.

Blue Mountain farmers generally have a more labor-intensive process when it comes to harvesting coffee. The coffee cherries are handpicked when they're 95% ripe and the sugars optimally present. In contrast, Central and South American farmers harvest their coffee only three times per season. But this level of effort may be one of the reasons the price of a cup of coffee has risen.

Dedication, love, and hard work go into picking and sorting these Blue Mountain coffee beans. Every individual bean is graded by hand, and only the top selection will pass for export. 

So Why the Sudden Rise in Coffee Prices?

The cost of coffee has increased drastically over the past years due to the pandemic, rising raw material prices, and supply chain delays. In 2021, the price of coffee rose 30% and is still poised to rise even more.

But are consumers seeing these elevated prices in the shops?

Unfortunately, due to labor shortages in farms and other supply chain issues, retailers may be hesitant to pass on all their increased coffee futures market costs to their customers. It may result in a delay before any price rises show up in coffee shops. Though as demand for foodstuffs grows globally, this gap may close eventually.

Blue Mountain Farmers Continued Contribution to the Gourmet Coffee Market

As demands rise, specialty coffees like Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee are more expensive. There's extra pressure on farmers who rely on their crops to survive and producers attempting to meet rising consumer demand.

However, some Jamaican resources have sustainable outgrowing, where new investments into the community increase production ethically. And surprisingly, various international consumers are happy to pay the price for a gourmet coffee experience.

In the past, around 70% of the demand for Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee came from the Japanese market. Over time, this percentage declined and made space for other regions, including China, the United States, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom, to purchase Blue Mountain coffee at better prices.

Clearly, the international markets see the value in Jamaican luxury coffee beans.

Farm Syndication: Highlighting Jamaica's Small Farmers

When it comes to specialty coffee, there's a strong preference for fair trade. However, the areas where specialty coffee is produced usually need more resources.

That's where farm syndication like that at Blue Mountain Best comes in. This infrastructure allows small farmers to create partnerships with large investors who can purchase part of the rural area so farmers can access a better way for quality production.

Wallenford coffee used to control the Blue Mountain market for many years. It sat on top of big companies, sold on Japanese contracts, and stuck to the government's norm. Jamaican coffee farmers are left with little support and investment from the government.

But with farm syndication, companies like Blue Mountain Best have enhanced farming resources. Farmers who couldn't manage the supply needed for their clients now can, and they have a higher value and a healthier work environment.

Looking to the Future of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

The future of coffee commodity prices is uncertain, but the demand will continue even if prices surge again. 

Thanks to farm syndication, more Jamaican farmers are ready to meet this demand and benefit from the rising costs as more international players continue investing in sustainable farming practices.

And this initiative will continue. With better resources, local farmers can carry on with their labor-intensive roles and, eventually, lead to more economic growth in Jamaica.

Alvin Pitter has over 30 years in the coffee industry. His involvement with Blue Mountain Best includes everything from planting to shade management to quality assurance. Blue Mountain Best is a modern, commercial coffee producer, honoring the small farmer while bringing updated agricultural techniques, diverse interests from global consumers, and renewed investment to the Jamaican coffee market.

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