The coffee sector has, in recent days, witnessed a high level of coffee innovations, which is significant to the growth of the economy. For instance, in the speciality coffee, there has been a development, which has led to an increase in coffee production worldwide. In addition to that, the demand for coffee has also increased, with many people enjoying the cup of coffee.
In this article, we shall consider the following aspects:
- Innovations of speciality coffee
- Problems facing coffee production
- Sustainability issues in the coffee industry
- The technology adopted in the coffee industry
INNOVATIONS OF SPECIALITY COFFEE
It’s the desire for the coffee lovers to enjoy high-quality coffee anytime they visit coffee shops or in their homes. The areas where there has been innovation in the coffee industry include production, packaging, and also distribution. Speciality coffee comes from the efforts of everyone that is part of the supply chain (from seed to cup). Such innovation includes:
Grafting of Coffee
In the coffee industry, one key innovation which is being introduced is grafting the coffee seedling to improve the resistant to disease and climate change while maintaining the quality of the coffee. These coffee shrubs are called hybrids, purely any Arabica varietals that have been grafted with Robusta varietals to make them more resistant to drought, pests and diseases. The hybrid F1 and Centro Americano are the perfect examples of a hybrid which is rust-resistant, high yielding and produce high quality. Lots of combination have been tested and some of them are already producing coffee cherries in South America and are also being planted in Africa. Some of them are also scored more than 90 points according to the SCAA protocol.
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Branding of coffee
There has been an increased branding of the coffee (labels and websites), which promote speciality coffee. Due to the availability of these various brands, there is a great need to have good branding to enhance quality.
The latest innovations have enabled this possible from the producers to distributors to everything we need to know about coffee and its preparation.
PROBLEMS FACING COFFEE PRODUCTIONS
Coffee production is usually characterized by many challenges which include the following:
It is the main problem that coffee producers face since they have no control over the climatic changes.
Climatic changes have led to a rising in the temperature and new rainfall pattern, which has significantly affected the coffee production and the processing of the coffee.
For instance, Arabica is considered the best quality coffee and also the most delicate. For this reason is usually affected by the changes in climate, which make it hard for the coffee to maintain its quality.
When Arabica gets subjected to high temperature, it reduces the rate of the growth, thus reducing the ability to blossom. Arabica plant doesn’t produce any cherries above 35 degrees Celsius.
Diseases, Pest, And Fungi
These are another major problem which keeps on affecting coffee production. Most farmers continue to count losses due to the invasion of the diseases on the farm. For instance, the fungus “la Roya” is the most common fungal disease which causes the leaves to fall off. On the other hand, the pest and several new diseases have been a significant problem for the farmers and have led to a declining in the production of coffee.
Shortage Of The Labor Supply
It’s a significant challenge for the coffee farmers who experience low labour supply on the farm. Coffee production requires more staff to offer labour in the various tasks, especially the ones that require a greater amount of labour such as handpicking or selections of the cherries before processing them.
For instance, in the areas where coffee has produced the children to those families often migrate to town to seek alternative jobs, and this has led to a declining in labour supply and also makes it necessary for the farmers to hire immigrant workers that are just passing through.
Price Fluctuation And Unreliable Income
There has been fluctuation in the prices in the coffee market, including speciality coffee, which has affected the farmers. As the market continues to expand, most of the farmers continue to outburst the low payments made to the coffee producers.
Due to the increasing price fluctuation in the market, it has led to the producers of coffee being unable to predict the future trends in prices, which makes coffee production unreliable income.
Several arabica producers are now replacing coffee with other crops like avocado, bananas, sugarcane, tobacco or corn.
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SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES IN THE COFFEE INDUSTRY
Over the years, there have been sustainable issues that the coffee industry has been experiencing, which would require all the stakeholders to discuss the possible solutions. The following are the most evident sustainable issues in the coffee industry:
Fair Coffee Prices
Over the decade, the discussion about sustainable coffee prices has been dominating with the fluctuation of the prices causing alarm to the coffee producers.
During the past conferences, the coffee producers were at the forefront to demand the fair prices, which will make the coffee income to be a reliable source. It’s the right of the farmers to get their fair income once they produce coffee.
There have been changes in the climate in recent days, which affects the production of coffee across the globe. The coffee plant gets affected by the rise in temperature and affects the production on a global scale. In the years to come, there is a need for the research to be boosted and see whether we can have grafted seedling, which could withstand the rise in the temperature to ensure there will be a regular supply of coffee in the market.
There has been a discussion about whether the coffee industry can sustain the economy and if the coffee production is profitable or not. Due to the fluctuating prices in the global market, it has affected the economy of the coffee-producing countries. In the New York Stock Exchange, the coffee price for Arabica has dropped dramatically, from nearly $3 a pound in 2011 to under $1 now. Farmers are putting their lives at risk with an urgent need of extra income from the coffee crop as the coffee market doesn’t seem it will have soon an increase in the stock exchange.
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COFFEE INNOVATION: TECHNOLOGIES ADOPTED
Growth of the technology in the coffee industry is inevitable, and many producers and distributors have adopted the following technology:
Tech- Savvy Growers
It’s an innovation that was introduced in the coffee industry where the farmers have applications which they use to record all the production data and hence optimize labour supply but also modernising the old-growing practices, creating a wider network that helps establish new relationships with exporters and buyers, thus promoting quality.
Coffee producers are embracing the use of social media as the form of marketing to promote their business, which makes it possible for the farmers to get new direct markets across the globe.
Coffee is the most enjoyed drink across the globe, and there is a need for the various stakeholders to solve all the sustainable issues to ensure coffee lovers still enjoy their drink in the next years but also for the future generations.
In the coming days, there is a chance of the industry to deal with all the current challenges due to innovation and technology
I am an Italian coffee lover that pushed for the love of this “amazing drug” decided to come to London to study about coffee and its different extraction procedures and tastes.