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Coffee is a popular beverage and an important commodity. Tens of millions of small producers in developing countries make their living growing coffee. Coffee is a major export commodity: Further, green unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world,  and is traded in futures contracts on many exchanges, including the New York Board of Trade , New York Mercantile Exchange , New York Intercontinental Exchange , and the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange.
The world's largest transfer point for coffee is the port of Hamburg , Germany. In Brazil was the world leader in production of green coffee, followed by Vietnam , Indonesia , Colombia and Ethiopia.
Robusta coffee beans are grown in western and central Africa, throughout southeast Asia, and to some extent in Brazil. Beans from different countries or regions can usually be distinguished by differences in flavor, aroma, body , and acidity. In the year in the US, coffee consumption was In , it was the number-one hot beverage of choice among convenience store customers, generating about 78 percent of sales within the hot dispensed beverages category.
The expansion of Brazilian coffee plantations and Vietnam 's entry into the market in when the United States trade embargo against it was lifted added supply pressures to growers. The market awarded the more affordable Vietnamese coffee suppliers with trade and caused less efficient coffee bean farmers in many countries such as Brazil , Nicaragua, and Ethiopia not to be able to live off of their products, which at many times were priced below the cost of production, forcing many to quit the coffee bean production and move into slums in the cities.
Specialty coffee, however, is frequently not purchased on commodities exchanges—for example, Starbucks purchases nearly all its coffee through multi-year, private contracts that often pay double the commodity price. In , however, the coffee prices rose with the above-mentioned ICO Composite Index monthly averages between Many coffee bean farmers can now live off their products, but not all of the extra-surplus trickles down to them, because rising petroleum prices make the transportation, roasting and packaging of the coffee beans more expensive.
Prices have risen from to and sharply in the second half of on fears of a bad harvest in key coffee-producing countries, with the ICO indicator price reaching in March A number of classifications are used to label coffee produced under certain environmental or labor standards.
For instance, "Bird-Friendly"  or " shade-grown coffee " is said to be produced in regions where natural shade canopy trees is used to shelter coffee plants during parts of the growing season.
Organic coffee is produced under strict certification guidelines, and is grown without the use of artificial pesticides or fertilizers. Fair trade coffee is produced by small coffee producers who belong to cooperatives; guaranteeing for these cooperatives a minimum price, though with historically low prices, current fair-trade minimums are lower than the market price of only a few years ago. Fairtrade America is the primary organization currently overseeing Fair Trade coffee practices in the United States, while the Fairtrade Foundation does so in the United Kingdom.
The coffee industry currently has a commodity chain that involves producers, middlemen exporters, importers, roasters, and retailers before reaching the consumer.
Under either arrangement, large producers can sell at prices set by the New York Coffee Exchange. Green coffee is then purchased by importers from exporters or large plantation owners.
They have capital resources to obtain quality coffee from around the world, capital normal roasters do not have. Roasters' heavy reliance on importers gives the importers great influence over the types of coffee that are sold to consumers.
In the United States, there are around 1, roasters. Roasters have the highest profit margin in the commodity chain. Twelve billion pounds of coffee is consumed around the globe annually, and the United States alone has over million coffee drinkers. Coffee is also bought and sold by investors and price speculators as a tradable commodity. According to the World Fair Trade Organization and the other three major Fair Trade organizations Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, Network of European Worldshops and European Fair Trade Association , the definition of fair trade is "a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade".
The stated goal is to offer better trading conditions to marginalized producers and workers. Fair trade organizations, along with the backing of consumers, campaign for change in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. However, not all coffee producers are happy with the methods or results. Fair Trade organizations promote a trade environment in which the coffee importer has a direct relationship with the coffee producer, excluding the middlemen. Coffee importers provide credit to certified farmers to help them stay out of debt with coffee traders so they can develop long-lasting trade relationships.
Fairtrade certification is not free; there is an application fee, initial certification fee, membership dues, annual audit fees and more. Certification can cost thousands of Euros for a single plantation. As a result, there are plenty of small, independent farms that are not Fairtrade certified even though they meet or exceed the Fairtrade standards.
Originally, coffee farming was done in the shade of trees, which provided natural habitat for many animals and insects, roughly approximating the biodiversity of a natural forest. They also typically cultivated bananas and fruit trees as shade for the coffee trees,  which provided additional income and food security. However, in the s and s, during the Green Revolution , the US Agency for International Development and other groups gave eighty million dollars to plantations in Latin America for advancements to go along with the general shift to technified agriculture.
Sun cultivation involves cutting down trees, and high inputs of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Environmental problems, such as deforestation , pesticide pollution , habitat destruction , soil and water degradation , are the effects of most modern coffee farms, and the biodiversity on the coffee farm and in the surrounding areas suffer.
As a result, there has been a return to both traditional and new methods of growing shade-tolerant varieties.
Shade-grown coffee can often earn a premium as a more environmentally sustainable alternative to mainstream sun-grown coffee. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article relies extensively on quotations that were previously collated by an advocacy or lobbying group. Please improve this article or discuss the issue on the talk page. Business and economics portal Coffee portal.
Most important imports and exports of agricultural products in value terms " PDF. Archived from the original PDF on Retrieved 13 September Archived from the original on 14 October Retrieved 24 October To retrieve export values: Under "subject", select "Export value of primary commodity.
Select the desired year and click "show data. So many people who have written about coffee have gotten it wrong. Coffee is not the second most valuable primary commodity in world trade, as is often stated.
Coffee is the second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries. Archived from the original on 10 July Retrieved 27 May Food and Bioprocess Technology. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original PDF on 5 March Retrieved 26 March Archived from the original on 24 March Retrieved 4 January A Guide to Buying Brewing and Enjoying 5th ed.
Thesis, The Evergreen State College. Archived from the original on 29 May Retrieved 17 May Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 24 May Retrieved 30 November Retrieved 13 April Archived from the original PDF on 19 July Retrieved 22 February Natural History of Costa Rica.
University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 4 May Archived from the original on 15 May Economics Fair trade History.
Coffee production List of countries by coffee production. Cafestol Caffeic acid Caffeine Coffee bean Furanylmethanethiol. Coffee roasting Coffee wastewater Decaffeination Home roasting. Retrieved from " https: Coffee industry Agricultural economics International trade. Webarchive template wayback links Articles with inconsistent citation formats Pages with citations lacking titles Pages with citations having bare URLs CS1 maint: Views Read Edit View history.