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High Organic Coffee Prices
High organic coffee prices are unlikely to deter serious coffee drinkers. Coffee prices in general are at a 34 year high for average composite coffee at $2.31 a pound, up from $1.12 a pound just two years ago in April of 2009. Organic coffee which commands a premium is priced higher still. The issue for coffee in general is not one of low supply as total coffee exports from April 2010 to March 2011 were 101 million bags, the highest yearly total ever recorded. Factors such as frost in coffee growing areas of Brazil, the world’s largest producer, contributed to the high coffee prices and high organic coffee prices. The high prices of coffee, in general, has encouraged exporting countries to empty warehouses and increase exports. However, it takes up to 12 years to mature and produce coffee beans so there is not an immediate ability of most nations to increase production. Colombia and Brazil, however, have been hit by torrential rains due to el Niño which has reduced production by roughly 30%. When the climate allows in these areas both Colombia and Brazil may be able to pick up their production and help drive coffee prices down. Part of the high cost of coffee is also because of the high cost of fuel. Rising oil prices raise the cost of transportation and also of synthetic fertilizers. The high cost of fertilizers promises to force the use of more sustainable practices such as those used to produce healthy organic coffee. In addition the use of more sustainable practices will help force growers to care for trees in such a way that they will produce longer. Despite the high price of coffee and the higher price of organic coffee veteran coffee drinkers are not expected to neglect their favorite brands of healthy organic coffee.
Not only is organic coffee attractive because of its aroma and flavor but because of its relative lack of the impurities found in a standard cup of regular coffee. In addition organic coffee antioxidants are an attractive benefit in that your steaming cup of organic coffee has many health benefits such as the fact that more organic coffee can lead to less diabetes, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
Historically coffee prices fluctuate with demand and supply. Weather conditions such as El Niño make planting, harvesting and even crop survival difficult in mountainous regions such as those used for coffee in Colombia and Brazil. As coffee becomes more popular and organic coffee, especially, reaches new coffee drinkers it is unlikely that coffee consumption will go down. The limiting factor will be supply and the factor driving prices will be the same. The problem for the organic coffee grower is that he already sells his pure coffee product at a premium. The facts about organic coffee are that it costs more, in the short term, to use sustainable practices in growing, harvesting, and processing organic coffee.
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