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June 10, 2024

What's going on in Asia-Pacific?

General Market News

There are 195 countries in the world today. Disregarding non-democratically ruled countries, 2024 is a massive election year. Major democracies in more than 64 countries will elect their new leadership. Major economies (and democracies) such as the USA, Europe, the UK, India, and Indonesia have already or will soon run to the polls. Never in human history before have so many people been able to vote and herewith directly influence the future of their nations. While the election campaign in the USA is running at full steam, Europeans gave their vote this weekend. France and Germany swung sharply to the right. In Germany, the biggest losers were the actual governing parties under the coalition of chancellor Olaf Scholz and the Greens.

The Liberals somehow managed to stay alive with an almost unchanged result. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the European level, the Green New Deal, and subsequent laws such as the EUDR.

Politics and economics are always kind of interlinked - to say the least.

Hence, it does not really come as a surprise that the European Central Bank has just adjusted interest rates from 4.0% to 3.75%. This is the first lowering since September 2019. Borrowing for European countries (and therefore also for business) is getting cheaper, and hopes are high that this will motivate growth. A pretty nice incentive right before the elections - a rouge who thinks evil ;-)

The US Federal Reserve, on the other hand, will most probably leave interest rates unchanged in the 5.25% to 5.50% corridor. But Jerome Powell and his team are accurately monitoring GDP growth (showing a deceleration), inflation (still a concern due to persistent price increases, especially in food categories), employment (reflecting a stable, strong labor market so far), consumer spending, trade deficit, and corporate profits. Quick interest rate cuts are not really expected.

The Robusta coffee market remains a significant focus of concern due to its crucial role in global coffee blends. Vietnam's crop evolution is of vital nature in this equation. Current weather patterns, influenced by El Niño and developing La Niña conditions, raise questions about the impact of rainfall timing and amounts on the next harvest. Additionally, logistical challenges are exacerbating market worries. Shipping routes around Africa are experiencing delays as vessels navigate to avoid attacks in the Red Sea. Further adding to the uncertainty are the record low stock levels and the onset of the Brazil frost season. These factors collectively keep both markets on high alert, and volatility is the new constant.

International coffee prices for Arabica had yet another moved week. With a trading range of almost 20 c/lb the month of July24 (KCN24) established a new 8 weeks high on Thursday at 239.80 c/lb. But after all the action a massive correction on Friday brought prices back to lower levels and the week closed 1.1% higher at 224.80 c/lb.

The spot-month of Canephora (aka Robusta RMK24) established a new record high on Thursday at 4,528 USD/MT. This sounds almost like a broken record, but the development of the Robusta prices is genuinely unprecedented. To put it into perspective, Robusta's high on Thursday equals 205 c/lb. This is only a marginal 20 c/lb to 30 c/lb cheaper than international Arabica prices. The fair question is whether Robusta is leading the coffee pack, and the brief answer is yes: for at least several months now. The week closed 3.8% higher at 4,275 USD/MT.

You can follow the weekly development of prices in the table below.

Indonesia

In Sumatra, heavy rains triggered a flash flood and cold lava flow from Mount Marapi, an active volcano in western Sumatra's Padang Highlands. The incident resulted in at least 37 fatalities and numerous injuries. Mount Marapi, approximately 2,800 meters high, has erupted 11 times in the past century.

For the 2024/2025 harvest, coffee production is expected to rebound, reaching approximately 11 million bags. This increase in production volumes is also expected to drive exports up from 4.3 million to 6 million bags. Additionally, significant growth in domestic consumption is projected, primarily attributed to stable economic expansion and the growing coffee market.

In general, climate conditions have been favorable across coffee regions. The fly crop has finished in Sumatra, and local trader's inventories are lowering. However, they also hold limited stocks with the expectation of higher prices.

The Canephora (Robusta) flow is also increasing. Strong demand is pushing higher differentials, and dry mills are busy processing all the coffee coming in.

No significant news from the Port of Lampung.

India

After nearly two months of voting, Narendra Modi was sworn in as India's prime minister, making history by being elected for a third consecutive term. India, the world's largest democracy, saw billions of voters and over a million polling stations. Interestingly, the large numbers also apply to political aspirants: a record high of 744 political parties with diverse ideologies and proposals participated in the elections.

In India's capital Delhi, as well as in the northern and central regions, severe heat waves are causing extreme temperatures. Delhi reached a provisional record of 52.3°C. The capital has also reported its first death due to the record-breaking heat.

Amidst the heat, the Monsoon season has started in some parts of India, such as Kerala, on India's tropical Malabar Coast. As such, coffee monsooning operations are already taking off. The first shipments of monsooned coffees are expected to be ready around October.

Anticipating higher prices, farmers hold on to their coffees and release only small quantities. The demand for Robusta, including lower grades, continues to be high.

There are no significant updates from the ports so far.

Vietnam

Vietnam's heatwave and lack of precipitation have been crucial factors affecting coffee prices. Nevertheless, in the last few weeks, much-needed rains have reached the Central Highlands in Dak Lak, Lam Dong, and Kontum. The capital city of Hanoi is still experiencing excessive heat, but luckily, rain is forecasted here in the next few days.

Despite the drought, Vietnam's coffee production for 2024/2025 is projected to remain stable, with a forecast of 29 million 60 kg bags.

The country is currently between seasons, with both Robusta and Arabica harvests projected to start in October. Currently, the local market has been calm. Given the rising prices, farmers and traders are releasing little coffee into the market.

Apart from the persisting challenges at the Red Sea, there are no significant updates from the port.

Papua New Guinea

Rainfall continues to affect Papua New Guinea. Most recently, a landslide destroyed over 100 homes in the highlands of Enga, north of the island. Over 2,000 victims were reported. Recovery efforts are currently underway.

Amidst the tragedy and the logistical challenges brought by the rain, the harvest is progressing slowly. Rains are delaying cherry ripening, hindering collection, and slowing the delivery of parchment to dry mills. As a result, forecasts for crop size and quality remain uncertain at this stage.

No news from the port of Lae.

Production Estimates for Asia Pacific

 

June 03, 2024

What's going on in East-Africa?

General News

Despite all threatening multiple crises, the global economy continues to grow. This is good news as it shows there is not so much dependency on a singular strong economy. The US economy, for example, is slowing down after a strong performance in 2023, while other major Asian economies, such as China, India, and Japan, recovered during the first quarter of 2024. Europe is still caught in the middle, with only a marginal growth expectation for this year. The European Central Bank (ECB) will decrease interest rates this week to recover economic traction.

South Africa went to the polls, and it looks like Nelson Mandela's old party, the ANC, will lose its majority in Parliament for the first time since 1994. The ANC has won every election since 1994, but this time, it will get less than 50% of the votes. However, South Africans apparently got tired of further corruption scandals and continuous economic mismanagement during the last decade. The negotiations between the parties started.

Europe is also getting ready for its elections. There is big hope that a reality-driven party will assume control and bring back pragmatism, cutting out the highly dreaded EU bureaucracy. Ideas welcome! The top 5 and indeed controversial subjects voters in the EU are looking for are:

1. Combating poverty and social exclusion
2. Public healthcare
3. Supporting the economy and the creation of new jobs
4. The EU's defense and security
5. Measures to combat climate change

From a humble coffee traders' point of view, just canceling the EUDR would be a massive success in the EU bureaucratic mess—I guess. Sometimes, less is more.

Our thoughts are with the victims of the flooding in southern Germany and the people affected by the tornados and severe weather events in Texas, USA. Extreme weather events are showing their destructive power simultaneously around the globe.

Our beloved daily little breakfast pleasure with a glass of fresh orange juice and a hot cup of coffee might turn quite expensive soon. Orange juice prices have skyrocketed due to extreme rains in Southern Brazil. And don't even think about having an excellent espresso with some mousse au chocolat for dessert after a long business lunch – cocoa prices are climbing back towards the April / May highs. Well... there is one exception though: you could add some sugar to your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Prices for this commodity have fallen since April... at least some affordable sweetness in times of astonishing volatility and high prices. Where is all the nervousness in the markets coming from? It looks as if changing weather patterns indeed affect agricultural production, but why is this really surprising? After all, scientists have been warning about this phenomenon for years. Looks like the homo sapiens are not as sapiens as they pretend to be and will only change their consuming patterns by the force of mother nature.

The international coffee prices for Arabica in New York (KCN24) have had another truly vibrant and highly volatile (short) week. After Memorial Day Celebrations on Monday, the market shot 13 ct/lb in a truly breathtaking move on Tuesday. It recovered during the rest of the week, yet finally, on Friday, after establishing a new 6-week high (237.75 c/lb), it collapsed like a soufflé and closed the week with a moderate 1.9% gain at 222.35 c/lb.

International Canephora (aka Robusta) prices continued their steady bullish sentiment and established a new contract high on Thursday (4,388 USD/MT). However, after the drop in Arabica prices, Robusta also came under pressure, settling at 4,120 USD/MT on Friday, but still with a week-on-week win of almost 6%.

We are approaching the frost season in Brazil, and Vietnam is still looking forward to sufficient rain. With this strong dependency on weather, it does not come as a surprise to see further caprioles in New York and London – stay tuned!

In the table below, you can find our weekly updates.

Ethiopia

Somalia's breakaway province of Somaliland is eager to finalize a controversial deal with Ethiopia that would indicate Addis Ababa's recognition of it as an independent state. In exchange for Ethiopia's recognition, Somaliland will lease 20 kilometers of sea access for 50 years, allowing Ethiopia to build a military base on its coast. Somalia's strong opposition to this deal could further strain its already tense relations with Ethiopia.

Weather conditions are sunny and dry in Addis Ababa. Meanwhile, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe are forecasted to experience cloudy days and rain.

Ethiopia is currently between seasons, with harvest activities ending around January and beginning again five to six months ahead. The main activities are presently driven by dry mills, which are very busy sorting, cleaning, hulling, and grading coffees for export.

Local prices are increasing. At the same time, financing constraints exist in the country due to a new regulation controlling cash transfers before the coffee can be moved to Addis.

The Red Sea Crisis continues to impact logistics across Ethiopia and Eastern Africa, causing container shortages and increased shipping costs. In Addis Ababa, the lack of 20-foot containers has led to the use of 40-foot containers. Despite the challenges, the flow of shipments in Djibouti has improved slightly but still needs to catch up a long way.

Kenya

Already affected by heavy rainfall and floods, Tropical Cyclone Hidaya put Kenya on high alert. However, the Kenya Meteorological Department forecasts a significant rainfall reduction this week in the Nairobi area. Rainfall is still expected in some Central Highlands, Western Kenya, and the Rift Valley areas.

Just like its neighbor Ethiopia, Kenya is in between seasons. The recent rain has been favorable for the upcoming 24/25 harvest and the ripening of the fly crop which is starting any time now. Good volumes of coffee are flowing. Auction 31 of the 23/24 main crop is scheduled for tomorrow, June 4th.

The heavy rains on Kenya's coastline region affected operations at the Port of Mombasa. Floods and landslides delayed cargo deliveries to and from the port.

Tanzania

Tanzania was also on high alert due to Tropical Cyclone Hidaya. The storm caused heavier rainfall than normal in coastal areas, but luckily, no casualties or damage were reported. Overall, more than 150 people have died in Tanzania due to floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains linked to the El Niño weather pattern.

The Robusta harvest will soon begin in the northern region of Kagera. We hear that the production outlook is positive. At the same time, in Mbeya and Ruvuma in the south, arabica harvest activities can start at any moment.

No significant news has been reported from the Port of Dar es Salaam.

Rwanda

Rwanda is experiencing favorable weather conditions. Kigali reports sunny and warm days, similar to the Huye and Nyamagabe regions in the southwest. The eastern regions are also enjoying sunny weather.

The harvest is entering its final phase, with only around 10% of the crop remaining to be harvested. Activities are forecasted to end in the middle of June. The weather is now better for the optimal drying of parchment, which is starting to flow and reach the dry mills.
Local prices for cherry are currently on an upward trend.

Uganda

Like Kenya and Tanzania, Uganda has also been affected by the El Niño weather pattern, causing widespread flooding. In Kampala, forecasts currently predict partly sunny days with some thunderstorms. In the Mt. Elgon region in the east, heavy rains are expected.

The Robusta harvest is progressing well, and coffee is starting to reach Kampala. The outlook for this harvest is promising, as the weather was quite favorable during the crop's development.

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) reported that as of April 2024, Uganda's coffee exports reached almost 391,000 bags. This marks about a 5% increase in quantity compared to the same month last year. The increase is driven by higher Robusta exports, as Arabica exports decreased due to a smaller harvest in the Elgon region.

May 27, 2024

What's going on in Central-America?

General market situation:

The global geopolitical situation continues with an almost unchanged reality. Putin's invasion of Ukraine continues, but apparently, there are the first signs of a peace negotiation from the Russian side. The conditions of this treaty will determine its success. Will Ukraine accept the requested "price," or is this simply unrealistic?

Israel continues to fight Hamas in Gaza and is trying to free the remaining hostages. The international pressure on Israel to pause this war has been growing in the last weeks. Civil society in Gaza is suffering from the Israeli attacks, but also due to the Hamas hiding under civil infrastructure and using their own people as a human shield. There is undoubtedly no easy answer to this very complex and ancient plight. Houthi rebels continue their attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, forcing shipping lines to stay away from this high-risk region and rerouting their ships through South Africa's Cape of Good Hope. Transit time for coffee from East Africa and the Asia Pacific is taking substantially longer – not only because the voyage is now prolonged but also because the Houthi attacks have a cascading effect on vessel scheduling and container equipment availability, distressing international supply chains.

The international coffee markets in New York (Arabica) and London (Canephora—Robusta) continue to suffer from weather news. There were scattered rains in Vietnam, but some reports forecast a slightly lower crop as the dry weather already affected the coffee trees.

It's the fourth consecutive week with no rain in Brazil's largest coffee-growing region of Minas Gerais. This time of the year is relatively dry anyway, but it draws particular attention when the global supply and demand situation is so tight. In its second Coffee Crop Survey, Conab, Brazil's National Supply Agency, presents a 5.9% increase in Arabica production, reaching 42.11 million bags. These should be seen as bearish news on the market, but reality – both in New York and London – has interpreted the news differently. On Thursday, Arabica prices (KCN24) reached a new 3-week high (221.80 c/lb), and the market closed the trading week on Friday at 218.25 c/lb, marking a 5.6% gain.

Robusta prices (RMN24) also had a massive push of 10.6% last week. After an initial recovery moment, the market gained momentum and rallied higher in two consecutive sessions, closing on Friday at 3,892 USD/MT.

Both markets have rallied substantially during the past week and will welcome a day off. Today, they remain closed. We hope to see some tranquility and more relaxed trading days, but uncertainty keeps markets volatile.

We are still determining if the actual price reflects the fundamentally tight supply and demand or is part of a more extensive run on commodities. This chart clearly shows the performance of the past 12 months in the future markets. Cocoa (+228.65%!!!) and Orange Juice (+73.81%!!) outperform and lead the pack. Coffee is placed 8th in a cohort of commodities with a price increase of 20-plus %(!) in the last year.


Source: finviz.com

You can always have a look at the below table to have the full picture for coffee. We update this table weekly.

Origin News

At the beginning of the month, Panama held presidential elections, a significant event in the country's political landscape. José Raúl Mulino, the candidate of the Salvar Panamá party, emerged victorious with 34.41% of the votes. His win, confirmed by the president of the Electoral Tribunal, marked a new chapter in Panama's political history. Despite being a favorite in the polls, Mulino began his presidential career only a few months ago, replacing former president Ricardo Martinelli, who was disqualified due to a money laundering conviction.

The US Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Agency (NOAA) warned that this hurricane season could be historically bad, with up to 17 to 25 named tropical storms in the upcoming season. Eight to thirteen of the storms have the potential to become hurricanes, and about half of them could become Category 3 or higher hurricanes. This is double the usual number. According to scientists, global warming is the primary driver of this climatic change. The NOAA will release an updated report in August.

In a move that has been long-awaited, Costa Rica has closed its last two public zoos after 11 years of litigation over a 2013 law prohibiting the captivity of wild animals. The animals have been relocated to shelters and sanctuaries, where they will enjoy a better quality of life and conditions similar to those their species would have in the wild. This decision, a testament to Costa Rica's commitment to wildlife conservation, makes the country the first in the world without a national zoo.

Hot weather continues to affect the region. In Mexico, the Health Ministry reported that extreme heat has killed dozens, with temperatures expected to rise further. Temperatures in Honduras' industrial capital, San Pedro Sula, are forecasted to reach 38°C. High temperatures are also reported in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Scattered rains are finally signaling the arrival of the rainy season. These rains have been more consistent across producing regions, and flowering is reported to be good.

Currently, we are in between coffee seasons in Central America. Coffee availability in the region is rather low. In Honduras, there is scarce coffee available in the domestic market. In Nicaragua, some limited volumes can still be found, but the primary focus now is on shipping the coffee. Dry mills are running at full capacity and are busy milling, sieving, segregating, and cupping the coffee while being prepared for export.

Still affected by the drought and El Niño weather phenomena, the Panama Canal is gradually overcoming its challenges. In mid-May, the daily vessel transit limit was increased from 27 to 31.

Coffee production estimates in Central America:

 

May 21, 2024

What's going on in South-America?

General market situation:

In our complex financial world, a slight change in interest rates might ignite a chain reaction with a smashing global effect only seen in the comparatively small coffee market when a major natural calamity, such as a frost in Brazil or a drought in Vietnam, hits the fan. In his latest post-meeting press conference, the US Federal Reserve's chairman, Jerome Powell, suggested "that it's unlikely that the next policy rate move will be a hike."

But now Jerome Powell tested COVID-19 positive. We hope he recovers quickly and his sharp assessment of the US economy does not suffer from post-viral disorders. The European Union's Central Bank and the Bank of England have left interest rates unchanged, too.

International coffee prices in New York (Arabica) and London (Canephora, mostly referred to as Robusta) experienced a week of uncertainty. The focus was on major weather news that could potentially affect coffee production in Brazil and Vietnam. The presence of sufficient rains, particularly in the coffee regions, was a key concern. Brazil is undoubtedly the powerhouse when it comes to replenishing certified stocks. More than 4 million bags were exported in April, and May will also break the 4 million bag threshold. Some were delivered to the board. These are record numbers and clearly show the power of the Brazilian powerhouse. We look forward to the latest insides from Brazil's next harvest being disclosed during this week's meeting in Santos.

Arabica prices fluctuated this week, ranging between 195 and 205 c/lb. The upcoming harvest in Brazil and the prevailing weather conditions are key factors influencing these prices. New York closed at 206.70 c/lb on Friday, marking a 2.8% increase from the previous week. With a US public holiday on Monday, June 27th, we anticipate a short trading week in NY.
Robusta struggled to find a clear direction and meandered between 3,524 $/MT (high) and 3,356 $/MT (low), finally closing the week 2.3% higher at 3,518 $/MT on Friday.

Please take a look at the updated table below. It reflects the volatility and development of the coffee market.

Brazil

The Women's World Cup will take place for the first time in South America. Brazil was selected to host the 2027 edition of the football tournament, which was hosted by Australia and New Zealand in its previous edition.

Concerning the weather—torrential rains in Brazil have caused widespread flooding and mudslides in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, impacting nearly 150 municipalities, displacing thousands of people, and resulting in at least 29 deaths. Almost three weeks after the initial rains, water is reported to still be high. Authorities warn that it could be weeks before the floodwaters recede, especially if rains continue.

Climatic conditions are more favorable when moving up to more central regions. Producers are focused on the harvest, which is gaining momentum, particularly for Conilon. With the priority on the new crop and its quality, coffee flow remains rather slow. The main emphasis lies in fulfilling deliveries for forward contracts. 

Local prices for Arabica and Conilon remain more or less stable, but sellers are slowly raising their price expectations, and buyers are reluctant to make large purchases, resulting in small-volume transactions.

Logistical problems persist in Brazil's port of Santos. Exporters continue to face delays and lack of containers, resulting in extra costs and longer delivery times. Let's hope the delegation of international visitors attending this week's XXIV International Coffee Seminar in Santos will be able to find those missing containers despite some liters of Caipi ;-)

Colombia

Colombia suffered a great loss in the last days of April: Carlos Castañeda, the actor who portrayed the iconic Juan Valdez, passed away. The Federación Nacional de Cafeteros announced that Castañeda died at the age of 58 following heart surgery in Medellín. He personified Juan Valdez for 20 years and represented Colombian coffee farmers at international coffee events, including this year's SCA Expo in Chicago.

Much-needed rain has finally poured across the country after an extended drought. This change is part of the transition from El Niño to La Niña, characterized by colder weather and increased rainfall. Generally speaking, weather conditions are favorable in coffee-producing regions.

The fly crop is slowly gaining pace across the Eje Cafetero in regions such as Caldas and Quindio, while down south, in Cauca, Nariño, and part of Huila, the main harvest is currently happening. Coffee is flowing, and more activity is expected as the harvest progresses and coffee reaches dry mills.

Driven by international market prices, local prices are also high, motivating producers to sell.

Logistic operations remain smooth at Colombia's Caribbean ports of Cartagena and Santa Marta. Additionally, there are no significant updates from the port of Buenaventura on the Pacific coast.

Peru

Weather conditions are good across Peru. In the northern region of Piura, temperatures are reaching up to 30°C, while neighbors Cajamarca and Amazonas are experiencing milder weather with sporadic rain. This is very different from south Peru. In Puno, for instance, the sun shines abundantly, but temperatures are forecasted to reach -1°C.

Harvest activities are progressing well and are expected to peak around June-July. Due to challenges with coffee leaf rust, total production is expected to be slightly lower than last year's output. Nevertheless, parchment is reaching the dry mills where it is cleaned, hulled, graded, and prepared for storage and export.

There are no updates from the ports of Callao or Paita.

Coffee Production Estimates in South America

 

 

May 13, 2024

What's going on in Asia-Pacific?

General Market News

After a solid downward move during the last two weeks, we had a short trading week in Europe intertwined with a consolidation phase in both coffee markets.

The combination of rains in Vietnam and Brazil, certified stocks rebounding from historic lows, and a significant sell-off from investment funds had driven coffee prices substantially lower, as well as other commodities such as cocoa.
Arabica prices stopped the downward correction and consolidated in a range of 195 c/lb to 200 c/lb. The market closed the week almost unchanged at 201.15 c/lb. After such a roller-coaster move of the last months, it is unsurprising to see the market recovering a little and searching for a clear new direction.


International Robusta prices also recovered during the week and are still digesting the massive moves from the historic highs of 4,338 USD/MT to Friday's close of 3,440 USD/MT. The week closed almost 3% lower than the previous Friday.

Somebody hit the "pause" button on these otherwise very active and volatile coffee markets. One thing is sure: volatility will soon return to the markets. Speculation on the back of climate change, war, and geopolitical distress will indeed ensure this.

Refer to the table below to stay informed about the ever-changing coffee market. We update this table weekly, providing the latest insights and updates.

 

 

Indonesia

In an effort to get young people to move to the new capital city of Nusantara, Indonesia's Government is recruiting influencers to hype it up on social media. This capital city, being built from scratch and planned to be inaugurated in August of this year, has come into play as Jakarta faces many environmental challenges. The town is the fastest-sinking mega-city on the planet, hosting more than 30 million people. Jakarta is and shall stay the economic center of Indonesia, while Nusantara will be home to the Government and its National Administration.

In the northern parts of Sumatra, the Arabica fly crop is complete, and the last bits and pieces are coming down the mountain towards the exporter's warehouses for further processing. The coffee trees are recovering from the harvesting stress, and the main crop cherries are slowly and steadily continuing their maturation process.
The Robusta harvest is coming forward and moving into its final stage in the southern parts of Sumatra, but at a much slower-than-expected pace. This is pushing local prices higher, as exporters need to pay up to get their hands on the coffee.

On the beautiful islands of Bali, Java, and Sulawesi, the crop continues to mature on the trees. Good weather conditions are helping to bring those cherries up to full maturation. The early pickings and, thus, the beginning of the harvest are expected to start towards the first weeks of June.

No significant updates from the port of Lampung; logistics are operating without disruptions.

 

India

The harvest ended some months ago in India's Arabica and Robusta-producing regions. The trees are recovering, and farmers are not only doing some basic husbandry on the trees but also still sitting on a substantial volume of coffee. This is keeping internal prices on the higher edge, but the falling international markets have encouraged some farmers to step in and sell part of their coffees as they are scared of missing out on the high prices.
Nonetheless, the demand for Robusta continues to be high despite the high price scenario.

The monsoon season is about to start in the next few weeks. During this time of the year, the heavily humid air and excessive rains help process coffees stored in specially prepared warehouses and convert them into Monsooned Malabar coffees. We keep our fingers crossed and hope the needed rains will come soon.

Given the slow movement of coffee, shipments are delayed as exporters struggle to get the necessary quantities to meet their contractual obligations. There are no significant updates from the ports so far.

 

Vietnam

Weather concerns and scorching heat affected water supplies in Vietnam's southern provinces. Luckily, some rains appeared in the Central Highlands, bringing needed rains to the coffee regions in Dak Lak, Lam Dong, and Kontum. These showers didn't go unnoticed as international Robusta prices began to fall from their historic high of 4,338 USD/MT. Farmers started to sell following the falling prices and wanted to monetarize at least something of this historic moment.
Nonetheless, the coffee regions of Gia Lai and Dak Nong still need some rain, and the drought could potentially affect the next harvest.

Besides the ongoing challenges posed by the Red Sea crisis, there are no significant updates from the port.

 

Papua New Guinea

The Eastern and Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea have been experiencing heavy rainfall, which has caused logistical challenges such as landslides and overly muddy roads, which have complicated transportation.

Despite these challenges, local farmers are gearing up for the harvest season with positive expectations for quality and volume. The first samples of the new crop are eagerly anticipated soon, and the first pickings are expected to start within the next few days.

Exporters have prepared the warehouses, and their dry mills are looking forward to receiving the first arrivals of parchment of the new season.

No significant news from the port.

 

Asia Pacific Production Statistics 

 

 

Blog

Getting to know Urbania’s PAZ Project in Colombia

When we think about Colombia, coffee often comes to mind. Since the 1950s, the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros has actively promoted the country as a leading coffee producer. However, Colombian coffees have not only won our hearts over a successful marketing campaign, but they shine through their quality and diversity. Coffee in Colombia is cultivated in over 20 regions, where picturesque landscapes of steep mountains, lush greenery, and the melodies of birds create a serene ambiance on coffee farms. Nevertheless, many areas in Colombia have not always enjoyed this tranquil scenery.

For much of the last century, Colombia has been mired by armed conflict. What started as a confrontation between liberal and conservative parties escalated into a war involving the government, paramilitary forces, guerrilla groups, and crime syndicates. This prolonged conflict has had profoundly negative consequences for Colombians. The numbers say it all: over 260,000 lost lives, thousands are missing, and many are falling victim to violence and insecurity.

After numerous attempts, a peace process started in 2012 between the Colombian government and the FARC, one of the most prominent guerrilla groups. The process culminated in a final agreement signed in November 2016. Nonetheless, after decades of unrest, achieving peace and fostering development in the affected areas is easier said than done.

This is where companies like Urbania step in. Founded in 2015, Urbania opened multiple coffee shops across Medellin. Since their inception, they have focused on leveraging coffee production for positive societal impact, mainly working in vulnerable communities and with victims of the armed conflict. They do so through their PAZ project, from which we started buying coffees last year.

Grasping the complexities of post-conflict Colombia and the efforts aimed at fostering positive transformation in affected regions, including coffee-producing regions, takes a lot of work. To gain deeper insights into this and the role of initiatives like the PAZ project, we had a Q&A session with Julian Gamboa, Impact Manager and Co-Founder of Urbania.


Q&A

Julian — to begin with, please tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in the world of coffee?

I come from Bogotá but have been living in Medellin for the past 8 years. My journey in coffee began with the establishment of Urbania back in 2015. Previously, I was involved in organizing cultural events. However, after initial discussions with my business partner about the concept of opening coffee shops that emphasized more than just quality, I transitioned into coffee.

Tell us more about Urbania. How was it founded?

We aimed to adopt a model that exclusively collaborated with small coffee producers. Our goal was for them to generate higher profits through the production of specialty coffee. This vision led to the birth of Urbania. Subsequently, we realized that exporting was crucial to amplify our model's impact. This increased volume would enable us to magnify our impact, collaborate with more producers and associations, and encompass more extensive conservation corridors.

Is this focus — working with small coffee producers — what makes Urbania different from other suppliers?

No, that was just how Urbania was born. Our focus has since evolved to concentrate on working with victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. Our current model is centered on a "triple impact" logic, through which we aim to engage with producers and positively impact three key areas: environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

You see, we are not coffee hunters looking to find the best coffees in Colombia. Instead, we prioritize ensuring that the producers we collaborate with can develop and thrive as farmers. By enhancing quality, we aim to help them expand their businesses, particularly in regions severely affected by conflict or areas of significant environmental importance.

The armed conflict in Colombia is incredibly complex, with various armed groups, political ideologies, and socio-economic factors at play. Could you tell us more about it for those who may not be familiar with it? How has the conflict impacted the lives of Colombians, including those involved in coffee production?

Of course, I will try to be brief.

The conflict began in the middle of the last century with the formation of the guerrillas in Colombia after the Cuban revolution. One of the most prominent groups was the FARC, which was essentially fighting the government.

You see, during that period, Colombia operated under a democratic system dominated only by two parties, excluding alternative ideologies from participating in elections. This exclusion contributed to the emergence of guerrilla movements seeking to challenge the established political order.

Later on, around the 1980s, with the rise of the drug trade, guerrillas resorted to drug trafficking to finance their operations. This led to the formation of paramilitary groups, further complicating the conflict. The involvement of multiple actors — guerrillas, the Colombian army, and drug dealers — created a scenario akin to a civil war. Rural areas, where guerrillas often established themselves, were affected the most. This had significant repercussions for the coffee industry, as guerrilla movements traversed coffee-producing zones, leading to disruptions in production. Many farmers and entire families had to abandon their land because the guerrillas were taking ownership of them or due to high levels of insecurity and violence.

After the peace agreement in 2016, many of the victims are still making a transition to "civil" life. Victims include not only those who were displaced but also underage youth who were recruited, people who lost loved ones, or who have no economic means of subsistence as a result of the conflict.

What is the PAZ project, and how does it support these communities affected by the conflict?

The PAZ project began in 2017 following the peace agreement between the government and FARC. In almost all PAZ projects, we come as private allies of larger peacebuilding projects, with support from organizations such as the UN and USAID, which support post-conflict initiatives in Colombia. They look for partners who know about coffee and can support coffee producers.

For instance, there are municipalities such as Briceño and Genova in Antioquia and Quindío that the government has identified as priorities for transitioning to "post-conflict". Our first project was with an association in Tolima. Like Tolima, in regions heavily impacted by the conflict, economic opportunities are scarce, often leading individuals to engage in illicit activities such as coca cultivation, illegal mining, drug trafficking, and wildlife trade for subsistence.

Our goal through PAZ is to facilitate a transition to legal and sustainable livelihoods through coffee. Rather than cultivating coca, for example, farmers can shift to growing coffee. We are looking for better and more economic opportunities for these individuals.

So, through the PAZ project, we basically have 2 objectives. First, it improves the profits of coffee-producing communities, especially those in conflicted or post-conflict areas. Second, promote better opportunities for environmentally sustainable farmers and mitigate negative impacts.

How is the PAZ project achieving these goals?

Initially, we give group training to farmers about best practices for cherry collection, post-harvest processing, and general agricultural management of their farms. Out of these groups, we identify leaders with a high-quality determination and the potential to produce specialty coffee lots. They become community leaders. We also visit their farms, cup their coffees, and give them feedback in any way we can to improve their coffees.

Regarding higher profits, PAZ pays a bonus on top of market prices for quality and sustainable agricultural practices.

Where is PAZ currently operating? Could you please tell us more about the farmers involved?

PAZ started operating in Tolima. The association began with 50 members and now has around 120. The majority of them are women, and over 90% are victims of the armed conflict.

Today, PAZ also has projects in Antioquia and has reached Quindío and Valle del Cauca. All projects across these communities have different components. For instance, we could have a PAZ Tolima or a PAZ Blend Antioquia from different regions, but they all have peacebuilding projects.

Altogether, we have worked with around 400 families, mostly in Tolima and Antioquia. They are all smallholder farmers with an average farm size of 2 hectares. They are cultivating traditional varieties such as Castillo and Colombia, but a few are producing microlots with Bourbon and Geisha.

What are the hopes for the future?

We look into 2024 with optimism. We believe in the value and growth potential of projects like PAZ from the bottom of our hearts. With challenges such as El Niño impacting quality and productivity, the issue of environmental impact is becoming more and more critical. While expanding to new areas, our focus remains on supporting and collaborating with producers committed to quality and sustainability. Local leadership is vital in this effort, and we see an excellent opportunity to empower women and young people as impactful leaders within these initiatives.

*Interview translated from Spanish

Blog

Honduras: Harvest Update

Officially, the coffee harvest in Honduras starts on October 1, coinciding with its National Coffee Day. With 6 different producing regions across the country, Honduras has a prolonged harvesting period, with the lower regions beginning harvest activities in October, extending until February. Farms at higher altitudes in departments like La Paz, Intibuca, and Comayagua typically commence harvest activities later, starting around March and continuing through June and July.

Four months in, farmers are either preparing for the upcoming harvest or are at its peak: recollecting, depulping, fermenting, washing, drying, sorting... While we hear that these activities are progressing well across all regions, the harvest is also expected to be slightly smaller than in the coffee year 2022/23. It is not unusual to receive this kind of news during the harvest. Nonetheless, our own estimations remain positive.

Forecasts from IHCAFE (Honduras' National Coffee Institute) indicate that overall, Honduras will produce less coffee in the period 2023/24, with an estimate of some 5 million bags, 5-7% less than in the previous year.

Aerial view of coffee farms in Olancho.
Photo Credit: Cocaol

 Insight from Agalta (Olancho, Yoro, Atlántido & Colón)

Less production seems to be a trend in most coffee regions. As conveyed by Asdrubal Sanchez, from the cooperative Cocaol in the region of Agalta, who tells us that in Olancho, their last harvest was substantially smaller than three seasons ago. This harvest, he expects a reduction of around 10%. "The department of El Paraiso, our neighbor, has usually been a big producer, but they are also experiencing a drop in production," he says. "We also hear that production could decrease in the west, but not as pronounced as here."

Asdrubal explains that this decrease in production is strongly linked to a lower labor force, as individuals flee the country in search of better opportunities in the US. He emphasizes that the absence of workers on the farm not only impacts the harvest but also hampers essential operations such as weed control and the application of organic fertilizer. He notes, "In my case, we usually start the harvest in December, but this year we had to start in January because we didn't have any pickers."

In addressing this challenge, Asdrubal explains that salaries have been adjusted, making them more attractive in order to retain workers. He has also found help with the use of a small mechanical picking machine, which, although requires an operator, reduces the overall workforce needed. "We can no longer depend solely on harvesting with people," he says.

Our Coffee Map depicting Honduras' 6 coffee regions.

Despite working with a limited team, Asdrubal is happy with how the harvest is progressing, with January and February being the most important months for cherry collection. He sees coffees coming in with good quality and a minimal percentage of defects. The weather conditions have also been favorable throughout January, with a few scattered rains keeping the soil moist.

Western Honduras has been sunny in the first month of 2024.
Photo Credit:Proexo

Insight from the West: Copan, Lempira & Ocotepeque

Moving to west Honduras, we spoke with Melany Madrid and René Madrid from Proexo in Corquín, and Carlos Guerra from San Rafael Agroindustrial in Copán Ruinas, both situated in the department of Copán, bordering Guatemala.

René reports that in the western region encompassing the departments of Copán, Lempira, and Ocotepeque, the harvest is 60% complete. However, he notes a delay of 2 to 3 weeks caused by low temperatures and persistent rain, preventing the first cherry collections, or harvesting the "requemas", as they are locally called. "In December, temperatures dropped to 9°C, conditions with which pickers cannot go to work in the fields," Melany states.

In terms of volume, René projects a 20% reduction across the entire western region. He tells us that one of the main reasons is climate change, which brings imbalances and unexpected circumstances in production. Carlos echoes the same challenge in Copan Ruinas, further west, as he explains that due to the changing weather and hotter weather patterns in his area, coffee cherries are ripening earlier than they used to.

Moreover, René says that another reason for lower production volumes is that many farmers are renovating their farms, opting to replace older plants with new varieties. Similar to Asdrubal's observations, René notes that a scarcity of labor in the western region poses a prominent problem. "Many times, producers lose their harvest due to the lack of pickers," he says. Carlos further elaborates that in Copán, it is increasingly common for families, previously engaged in coffee harvesting activities, to receive "remesas" (money sent from relatives abroad), resulting in them choosing not to work on the farms anymore.

Positive developments are also occurring during this coffee year in the West. Carlos tells us he sees a sustained high demand for high-quality Arabica, both in the international and local markets. "National coffee consumption has increased overall," he says. Rene and Melany highlight the impact of Proexo's Diversity and Inclusion programs, noting a significant rise in the involvement of women in the coffee supply chain compared to the previous year, with now 54 women producers collaborating with them.

Coffee farms during harvest season.
Photo Credit: Proexo

Preparations for EU Deforestation-Free Regulation

Currently, a big topic in the coffee industry is the new EU Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR), a new legislation aiming to prevent deforestation in global supply chains. The law will kick in on December 30, 2024 and applies to seven different commodities, including coffee. This means that coffee importers and roasters will need to prove that their traded coffees are free from deforestation.

This marks a transitional period for many players in the coffee supply chain, including producers and suppliers. René tells us they feel ready to comply with the law, citing ongoing efforts in digitizing their supply chain since 2019. "We also work with certifications such as Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade, which require having data such as the farm geolocation, up to date, which is favorable to us," he adds.

Similarly, Asdrubal tells us he has been well informed about the regulation and believes Cocaol is on track. However, he expresses concern about the potential impact on smaller producers at origin, for whom compliance may pose greater challenges. "Between low prices and even harder market access, many producers become discouraged. Often, they end up leaving the country or switching their crop," he says. Furthermore, he adds that changing crops can end up even worsening the environment. "If they change their crop it is usually to corn, beans, or cattle, whereas coffee is one of the few crops that can be grown in harmony with the environment," Asdrubal says.

Wolfgang with Proexo's team during his last visit in November 2023.

At List + Beisler, our team is proactively monitoring and working to identify suitable solutions for our supply chain, guaranteeing that all our coffee adheres to the compliance requirements before January 2025. Our objective is to sustain the relationships cultivated over the years, providing support and collaboration with our suppliers during this transitional period.

We are expecting fresh new arrivals from Honduras in the next few months. If you would like to come by for a cupping, request samples, or simply learn more about our "Catracho" offerings, let us know! We are always happy to hear from you.

Click here to download a free PDF copy of Honduras' Coffee Map!

 

 

 

 

Blog

Q Grader Experiences: Calibration Across Continents

The Q grader program is quite famous across the coffee industry. The professional certification was established in 2004 by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) to ensure that coffee quality could be assessed globally using the same standards of tasting, evaluating, and scoring.

In this sense, Q graders worldwide, whether they are buyers, producers, or roasters, share a common language to assess coffee quality.

How to become a Q-Grader?

To become a Q grader, individuals must pass a very comprehensive exam. Commonly, these come in combination with preparatory courses evaluating green and roasted coffee, including olfactory and gustatory sensory skills. Moreover, participants must also study theory, undertake cupping exercises, and learn how to properly use the standardized Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) cupping form.

Achieving the Q grader certification is challenging. With high passing standards, many fail on their initial attempt. Once earned, individuals receive the Q grader certification, which can be renewed through an in-person calibration exam every three years.

Q graders in our Quality Control team

Precisely here is where our story starts: Piotr Kotarba, one of the five Q Graders on our List + Beisler team, needed to undergo his calibration exam to keep his license. He got his original Q grader certification in September 2020 in Warsaw, Poland, his home country. This was a true challenge in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic with a specially adapted cupping protocol. But it looks like Piotr truly enjoys challenges. He returned to the office last week after successfully passing his Q Calibration exam. Interestingly, he did not return from Poland this time but from Brazil.

His choice to do it in Brazil came from his curiosity about undergoing the calibration exam in a different context, specifically, that of origin. With a different culture, language, and coffee scene, taking the calibration in Brazil provided a unique backdrop and a new experience. However, it also raised the question: is it the same experience as doing it in Europe, or did this bring unforeseen advantages or challenges?

Piotr getting certified in Warsaw, 2020

Now that he is back, Piotr says yes – it had some differences, and there were both challenges and advantages.

First, he explains that the group taking the exam in Poland was smaller, with only six participants, whereas the calibration sessions in Brazil included a larger group of twelve individuals. He also perceived that the environment in Patrocinio, in the estate of Minas Gerais, was much more relaxed than what he experienced at home. "In Poland, everyone was more concerned to know how the other evaluated, and in Brazil, everyone was more relaxed; they didn't worry as much," Piotr says."I felt a more relaxed atmosphere, and everyone was super friendly."

Piotr explains that this may not only stem from cultural differences but could be attributed to the higher level of experience among the cuppers during his calibration. In fact, some participants were undergoing the calibration exam for their fifth time. "So, the first difference is that I got together with people with much more experience, and as a second point is that there are cultural differences when doing it in another country," he notes. For Piotr, the cultural differences meant taking the exam in a different atmosphere and in a foreign language.

Challenges and Advantages

The primary purpose of the Q grading system is to ensure cuppers are calibrated and agree on general standards when assessing coffee quality. Calibrated cuppers have a common understanding of quality and can score the coffees on the table in a consistent manner. A scoring system is used to evaluate the coffees. Upon experienced Q-Graders, deviations from the group's mean are an exception - particularly when cuppers are highly specialized in one origin country but not so fluent in determining cup profiles from coffees of other countries and their specific qualities.

Piotr was genuinely concerned about this situation being in Brazil and undergoing his calibration there. Cuppers presumably had a broader cupping understanding of Brazilian coffees than he could ever have. Instead, he would be more familiar with coffees from different origins, like Colombia, Guatemala, Kenya, or Ethiopia, but this could also lead to a twisted situation where he would score the coffees differently. "It is more difficult because you cup with a group of people who are used to certain coffee profiles, and in Q grading, it's all about the cuppers evaluating coffees in the same way. So it was interesting to see if I was in line with them," Piotr says.

Once he finished scoring coffees from three different tables, Piotr tells us he left the cupping room full of uncertainty. Would he pass or not? Two days later, the Q instructor finally revealed the results, bringing some relief. Piotr was super-aligned with the rest of the group and successfully passed his calibration course. Congratulations!

Q calibration in Patrocinio, Brazil. November 2023

Recommendations from this experience

Piotr advises anyone doing the calibration course to train in advance, if possible, with other Q graders. "This way, you share comments and scores and really see where you are. If you do it by yourself, you won't know, but with someone else, you can compare results," he says.

As a second point, he underscores the importance of training using the SCA cupping format and learning how to use it correctly. This is simply crucial. Knowing how to use it appropriately can save precious time during the evaluations.

Finally, Piotr encourages anyone considering doing their Q grader exam or calibration outside their home country to try it. "Sometimes, the thought that I chose the hardest path to do it crossed my mind," he says. "But I passed three out of three tests. I truly recommend it! It was a cool adventure and got me out of my comfort zone. And I also had the opportunity to meet many coffee professionals and exchange good experiences."

„Q"urious? Contact Piotr and the other four Q-Graders at List + Beisler to find out more or schedule a date for a joint cupping session (events@list-beisler.de). 

 

 

 

 

Blog

Costa Rica: Origin Report

04.12.2023

As the year draws to a close, the harvest season in Central America continues to unfold. In Costa Rica, harvesting activities kicked off around end of August in regions like the West Valley and Brunca. In higher areas such as Tarrazú and the Central Valley, red cherries are already visible on coffee trees, with some producers having completed the initial picking rounds known as "graneas". From his last visit three weeks ago, Wolfgang, Coffee Buyer at L+B, reports that the harvest is far more advanced in Costa Rica than in its neighboring countries.

Costa Rica's eight coffee regions.

The 23/24 harvest is anticipated to yield good quality; however, volumes are expected to be smaller than in the previous year, which could potentially drive prices higher. Farmers are focusing on producing high-quality coffees, experimenting with processing, and different varieties, as well as investing in their farms. José Pablo Juarez, Independent Consultor and Q Grader from Costa Rica tells us that harvest is progressing well across the country. "Coffee cherries are developing well across all regions, the coffee trees look strong and healthy, and the ripening of the coffee fruits seems uniform," Juarez says.

As in the rest of the world, Costa Rica is also challenged by the changing climate. Wolfgang tells us that certain areas of Tarrazú and southern Costa Rica experienced an accelerated ripening of coffee, likely attributed to elevated temperatures in previous months. As a consequence, some farms have seen earlier harvest periods. This warming trend was quite evident in Panama too, leading to a drought scenario at the Panama Canal.

In addition to the climate change-related weather carrousel, Juarez tells us that some areas have also faced excessive rain. Lower altitude regions have reported coffee cherries falling off trees due to the excessive rainfall, resulting in losses for producers in these areas.

Red ripe cherries in Tarrazú during the first week of November.

Labor shortage is another challenge heard of across all regions. Currently, pickers from Panama have been entering the country to help with the harvest activities. Some cooperatives and farms are working together and organizing their recollection days, so pickers can work on different farms during the week. This creates additional employment and income opportunities for pickers, and in turn guarantee the harvesting of more red ripe cherries, preventing potential losses from cherries falling to the ground.

Moreover, in October, ICAFE announced that coffee pickers, whether local or international, would now be covered by Occupational Risk Insurance, aiming to enhance their safety and provide a sense of security while on the job.

        

Visit to Finca Santa Elena in Tarrazú.

Like each year, we are looking forward to receiving new coffees from Costa Rica. Samples are expected to hit our lab in the last weeks of January 2024. Keep tuned for updates and – Pura Vida!

Would you like to download our Costa Rica Coffee Map? 

Click here for a free digital copy! 

 

 

Sustainability

Sustainability Manifesto

One of the most fascinating yet challenging things about international trade is the interdependence between people of different places and cultures. At List + Beisler, we have successfully fostered these relationships since 1901 – this does not happen accidentally. From the very beginning, we realized our role in the supply network. We are a linchpin, a connector between coffee-producing and coffee-consuming countries and people.

For some, it might be obvious to see how an importer can act as a connector... But, what may not be as obvious is how we all become what biologists call crosslinkers. As our world shrinks through more interconnectedness, we see this phenomenon playing out more and more. Famously, the first person to shed light on this reality was Alexander von Humboldt, a German polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and proponent of environmentalism, who revolutionized the Western conception of nature. He was heralded as a genius scientist and networker for cultural and ecological systems from different parts of the earth. Humboldt coined the concept that the natural world is interconnected, which he called the "web of life". This web of life is an intricate system in which all living things are interconnected and dependent on each other for survival, forming a large chain of causes and effects. No substance and no activity should be considered in isolation.

Here at List + Beisler, we agree with Humboldt's view on interconnectedness. We also see daily evidence that many of the "web of life" strands are now broken, and more are being broken daily. Even in the early 1800s, back in the days of Humboldt, he had discovered the devastating damage caused by colonial plantations on Lake Valencia in Venezuela. He was the first scientist to warn of the dramatic consequences of human-made climate change.

Today we are already living with the impacts of climate change and global warming. We find ourselves in a world where human-made climate change is at a global crisis level. Coffee-growing regions are no exception where it has become more than evident. Pests are spreading into areas they were never able to reach before. Rains pour in formerly dry regions. Biodiversity is collapsing. Dry air is pushing deeper into what used to be cloud forests. Soil is eroding, with mudslides wiping out entire coffee-spotted hillsides. Drought and flooding affect the same regions and alternate their negative impact on nature and humans. We hear frightening and paralyzing bad news every day.

Despite this situation, we at List + Beisler are still optimistic. After all, every obstacle comes with an opportunity. We know that we have the chance to rethink and redesign our actions and create a better coffee future: for coffee-farming families, farmer associations, exporters, roasters, and coffee lovers worldwide.

Over the past few years, we have done a lot of research, talked to experts, and had many internal discussions on potential solutions for environmental and humanitarian challenges. If we are serious about finding solutions to these global issues, we are sure that our efforts must be deeply science-based and not purely ideology-driven. Furthermore, several approaches can be co-actively correct and effective.

This is why we would like to share our Sustainability Manifesto 2022/23 with you. Learn about our mission, goals, and achievements to generate positive impact through our holistic Sustainability Program: JOIN THE MOVEMENT.

Download the Sustainability Manifesto 2022/23 here.

Blog

Climate resilience and coffee varieties

Without a doubt, climate change is significantly altering the landscape of coffee production. Rising temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, and increased incidents of extreme weather events are disrupting traditional coffee-growing regions. Prolonged droughts, for instance, can lead to lower yields, while excessive rainfall and high humidity can result in pests and diseases such as coffee leaf rust. Moreover, rising temperatures can impact the geographical areas where coffee plants thrive, potentially forcing farmers to relocate their farms to cooler or higher areas, taking a toll on deforestation.

To adapt and bring coffee forward in light of these challenges, improving farming practices and coffee varieties plays a pivotal role. This is why we support the work of organizations such as World Coffee Research (WCR). Their work includes the improvement of coffee varieties, which does not only improve coffee plants' climate resilience and productivity, but also contributes to reducing farmers' risks while at the same time increasing yields.

Just last week, they released a new poster celebrating Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties. The poster depicts the relationship of over 100 coffee varieties from 22 countries, breaking down Arabica into four major groups: Bourbon Typica, Typica, Ethiopian Landrace, and Catimor. Robusta varieties, on the other hand, are classified according to countries: Congo, Congo x Guinea, Guinea, and Uganda.

This practical resource is available for everyone. To learn more or download a free copy, please visit WCR's website.



If you are a roaster and would like to support the work of WCR, you can collaborate through the Check-Off Program, here's how it works:

  • You can choose to donate 0,02 EUR/kg of green coffee sourced through List + Beisler. 
  • In return, we will increase your impact by adding a matching donation of 0,01 EUR/kg to every coffee purchase. These contributions will be clearly outlined in each contract.
  • Every four months, we will collect all the contributions and send them directly to WCR.

Want to learn more? Reach out to us via trade@list-beisler.de

Photo credits: World Coffee Research

Blog

How does El Niño impact coffee production?

In the world of agriculture, few crops are as sensitive to climate as coffee trees. Coffee plants require specific conditions to flourish, and even minor changes in temperature or precipitation can significantly impact yield and quality. One of the most influential climate phenomena affecting coffee production is El Niño, a recurring climate pattern characterized by the warming of the Pacific Ocean. But what exactly is El Niño and how does it affect coffee production?

In this article, we delve into the intricate relationship between El Niño and coffee production, examining its economic, environmental, and social implications.


What is El Niño?

El Niño is a climate phenomenon that occurs every two to seven years, disrupting regular weather patterns around the globe. Essentially, it is described as the warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which in turn influences atmospheric (air) circulation. El Niño is one phase within the broader climate phenomenon known as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). ENSO also comprises La Niña, a phase characterized by cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

You may be wondering, where does the name 'El Niño,' meaning 'little boy' in Spanish, come from? As the saying goes, fishermen along Peru's coast first noticed unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean back in the 1600s. This weather anomaly brought along lots of fish from the cold depths of the sea, giving the fishermen a fantastic catch for Christmas. They coined this "present" El Niño de Navidad, because El Niño typically manifests around Christmas in December.

The changes in the weather patterns caused by El Niño have far reaching effects, impacting weather systems, ocean conditions, and, consequently, agricultural production.

 

The Science Behind El Niño's Impact on Coffee

The majority of the world's coffee is grown in a region known as the Coffee Belt, which stretches across the globe between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This area is particularly susceptible to the effects of El Niño, as the phenomenon can bring about drastic changes in weather conditions, such as prolonged droughts or excessive rainfall.

The coffee plant is highly susceptible to changes in its environment. This is why El Niño's influence on weather patterns can lead to conditions that are unfavorable for coffee growth. For instance, increased temperatures can accelerate the coffee bean's maturation process, resulting in an early harvest and affecting coffee's growth and quality negatively.

On the other hand, excessive rainfall can lead to the proliferation of pests, such as the coffee berry borer, and diseases like coffee leaf rust (known as "la roya" in Spanish). These conditions can devastate entire regions. This is exactly what happened in late 2007 and 2008 in Colombia and Central America. One-third of Colombia's coffee production was destroyed by coffee leaf rust, while farms in Honduras and Nicaragua were also massively hit by the fungus.

Nonetheless, El Niño is extremely complex and the weather changes it triggers manifest differently across regions. Typically, El Niño brings decreasing rains to Colombia, Central America, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam. On the other hand, Peru, Brazil, and some African countries are challenged by excessive rainfall.

 

Economic Consequences for Coffee Producers

The economic repercussions of El Niño on coffee production are profound. When weather patterns are disrupted, coffee farmers face a multitude of challenges that can lead to decreased yields and increased production costs. For example, drought conditions may require additional irrigation, which is costly and resource-intensive. This could particularly impact farmers in certain producing areas lacking irrigation systems, making them heavily reliant on natural precipitation.

Excessive rainfall, conversely, may result in soil erosion and the need for more frequent application of fungicides to combat diseases. These additional costs can be devastating for small-scale farmers who already operate on thin margins.

Despite the challenges, there are positive outcomes worth highlighting. In Colombia, for instance, the El Niño phenomenon has sometimes had a positive impact. In the case of increased sunshine hours, for example, coffee trees can produce more coffee cherries, ultimately resulting in higher yields.


Price Volatility

El Niño events do not only affect coffee in terms of production. The uncertainty surrounding it leads to significant price volatility in the coffee market. Farmers, middlemen, exporters, traders, and roasters are aware of the potential impact on coffee yields, and this can lead to speculative behavior.

Certainly, the participation of hedge funds in the international coffee markets adds another layer of speculation. As a result, coffee prices can swing dramatically, making it difficult for the coffee value chain actors to plan for the future. During these periods, it is indeed the smallholder coffee farmers who bear the highest toll.

Green coffee cherries.

Environmental Ramifications

Besides its effects on the economic landscape, El Niño also brings about significant environmental consequences. The altered weather patterns can exacerbate ecological issues such as deforestation and soil degradation. For instance, drought conditions can make forests more susceptible to wildfires, which not only destroy coffee plantations but also contribute to air pollution and loss of biodiversity.

Water scarcity is also a pressing issue in regions where El Niño leads to drought. As with every agricultural undertaking, coffee production also needs water, and insufficient water can cascade effects on local ecosystems. Rivers and streams may dry up, affecting not just agriculture but also local fauna and the surrounding communities.


Latest Weather Forecasts and Global Alerts

The latest weather forecast reports to come from the U.S. Government's National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Centre anticipate that a transition from ENSO neutral conditions could occur during the next few months, with a 95% chance that El Niño weather conditions are expected to come into play towards December this year. The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology has issued an El Niño alert, forecasting an 80% chance that the El Niño weather phenomenon will develop by the end of the year. This weather phenomenon, should it come to the fore, is associated with above-average sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which would threaten partial drought conditions for the Pacific rim coffee countries such as Colombia and Indonesia. It could, however, bring with it further potential for increased rainfall for the coffee-growing districts in Southeast Brazil.

The Indonesian weather agency BMKG has also reported that the prevailing El Niño weather phenomenon, which typically brings prolonged hot and dry weather to the area, may be affecting more than two-thirds of the country. This includes Java and parts of Sumatra, two key coffee-producing regions in the country.

Coffee farm in Brazil.

Case Studies: Countries Most Affected

Brazil
Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer, and its coffee belt is significantly impacted by El Niño. The phenomenon has been linked to severe droughts in some years and flooding in others, both of which have detrimental effects on coffee production. As the world's leading producer, the uncertainty surrounding its supply can potentially lead to significant repercussions on coffee prices.

Colombia
Colombia, another significant player in the coffee industry, also faces challenges due to El Niño. The country's mountainous terrain makes it particularly vulnerable to landslides during periods of excessive rainfall, which can wipe out coffee plantations entirely. And not to forget the earlier mentioned increase in coffee plant diseases such as coffee leaf rust.

Mitigation Strategies

Given the significant impact of El Niño on coffee production, it is crucial for stakeholders to develop mitigation strategies. These can range from adopting more resilient coffee varieties to implementing water-saving technologies.

One approach is the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices, which aim to make farming more resilient to climate variability. This can encompass techniques such as cultivating shade-grown coffee, which is less susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Other practices include adjusting fertilization practices based on the availability of water and rainfall distribution as well as providing plants with the proper maintenance, like stumping and pruning.

National Governments can also play a role by providing subsidies for the adoption of more sustainable farming practices or offering insurance schemes to protect farmers against extreme weather events.

Coffee picking during harvest season.

El Niño is a powerful climate phenomenon with far-reaching implications for coffee production. Its effects are experienced on the economic, environmental, and social levels, making it a critical issue for anyone involved in the coffee supply chain. While it is impossible to prevent El Niño events, understanding their impact and implementing mitigation strategies can go a long way in safeguarding the future of coffee.

 

 

 

We Are Hiring!

We Are Hiring – Logistics Coordinator

Area: Logistics Coordinator
Location: Miami, FL
Start: asap

About List + Beisler:

List + Beisler are a leading specialty green coffee importer headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, with a proud history dating back to 1901.

List + Beisler started our US operation in 2018, with the goal of developing long-term, symbiotic partnerships in the North American specialty coffee segment; just like we have been doing in Europe for over 100 years.

Behind List + Beisler US, is a highly dynamic and service orientated team with a professional mindset. We go to great lengths to meet the needs of our customers and are singularly focused on finding the right coffee for every roaster.

 

About the Position:

As we continue to expand our footprint in North America, we are seeking a talented and highly motivated logistics professional to join our US team, on a full-time basis, in Miami, Florida.

The Logistics Coordinator is responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of outbound transportation associated with green coffee distribution to key roaster accounts. This position assists with inbound logistics and customer service as needed.

The ideal candidate is highly organized, able to handle multiple tasks, team orientated, and enjoys logistics. The candidate must be customer focused, have a high attention to detail, and possess a strong work ethic. Critical thinking, self-management, and ability to prioritize tasks are key functions of this role.

List + Beisler is a fantastic place to work and provides excellent benefits including 100% employer paid health insurance premiums.

 

 

Key Responsibilities / Tasks:

  • Provide internal and external customer service.
  • Generate and maintain logistics-focused customer profiles.
  • Act as a liaison with third-party vendors.
  • Execute data-entry for order processing activities.
  • Coordinate domestic transportation for inventory relocation and outbound shipments.
  • Monitor loads in transit, proactively identifying and resolving issues.
  • Process and track freight claims.
  • Review and approve invoices resulting from logistics processes.
  • Participate in systematic inventory reconciliation and resolve issues as related to outbound shipments.
  • Accurately maintain electronic files for outbound-related processes and communications. 

 

Key Qualifications / Experience:

  • BA in supply chain, business management, logistics or related field of study.
  • At least 3-years' experience in domestic LTL and FTL logistics coordination, preferably in the coffee sector.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Outstanding self-management and prioritization capabilities.
  • Strong customer service focus.
  • Intermediate experience with Excel (data analysis, pivot tables, VLOOKUP, etc.)
  • Intermediate experience with Outlook (common/shared mailboxes, multiple inboxes, sub-folder filing, category-tagging, calendars, reminders, and tasks)
  • Intermediate experience with ERP systems (working understanding of SAP will be an advantage).
  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English is a must (additional languages will be an advantage).

 

 

To apply, send your resume and cover letter to gunnar.servais@list-beisler.de. Please note the position title in the subject line: "Logistics Coordinator".

 

 

Sustainability

Farming Accelerator Project - Ethiopia

October 2021

While the Climate Change Conference COP26 is taking place in Glasgow and clearly shows the importance of keeping sustainability at the core of our actions, we are happy to tell you about our findings after coming back from an extensive field visit in our Farming Accelerator project in Southern Ethiopia.
This project has been running for more than a year now. It started just before the Covid-19 related lock-downs in March 2020. Despite all the restrictions related to the pandemic, we could adapt to the necessary hygienic precautions and begin with the much-needed work in that part of Ethiopia.
The principle of the project is simple and smart: we partnered with UN-ITC, Enveritas, and COQUA to tackle the most evident sustainability challenges faced by smallholder coffee farmers in Southern Ethiopia. We selected six specific coffee regions in Yirgacheffe and Sidama, known for their outstanding quality. Using artificial intelligence, satellite technology, and in-person interviews, Enveritas can provide us with accurate and transparent data on the farmers' situation. Based on this information, we developed a set of trainings together with UN-ITC and COQUA. These trainings cover two main areas, and we call them:
Sustainable Productivity Acceleration, covering among others:

• Good agricultural practices
• Product quality consistency

Farming as a Family Business, creating awareness on:

• Basic Financial Literacy (accounting and record-keeping)
• Income diversification and business development


All training is inclusive and targets all members of the family living and working on the farm. Youth and gender are equally involved.
Once the training modules are refined, it remains a challenge to deploy the training. We have recruited several farmer trainers, young enthusiastic agronomical professionals from the towns who are well-connected within the local communities. They get trained by a senior agronomist and experienced coach. The project counts with 60 demonstration plots where the farmers are invited to attend the training. The farmer trainers explain the methodologies, and then the farmers and their families can experiment by themselves under the supervision of the farmer trainer. Each farmer trainer trains a group of farmers. Thanks to this methodology, we can provide training for 1,800 farmers in the region.
We have already accomplished composting pits on all demo plots, and farmers are already adopting these new techniques on their land. They have also learned how to prune or stump a tree and understood the importance of having young and strong plants to accelerate productivity. Most of the smallholder farmers are not taking any notes on income and expenses, and therefore they are not able to accurately assess the results of their work. To better manage the farm, though, it is crucial to understand basic numbers coming from income and expenses. This is why we are also training this. And usually, women and the younger generation are very prone to understand the importance and impact of this exercise.
Now, once the project runs, it is essential for all participants – from farmer to roaster - to access these coffees. Systemic change is embedded through the continuous purchase of these project-related coffees.
This is what we define as "Sustainability as a Service" (SaaS) – with a bit of tweak from its original acronym ;-). In a nutshell: excellent coffee quality, sustainably produced and sourced from tree to cup.

Regions visited:
We started the journey flying from Addis Abeba to Awasa. From there on, we drove south towards Dila. Departing from Dila, we went to the coffee fields located around the small villages (called Kebeles) of Nurakorate, Kumato, Adame, Gotiti, and Chelchele. We visited 15 demonstration plots and farms surrounding these demo plots. We have spoken to over 100 farmers during our field visits and interviewed them and the farmer trainers to better understand their needs and check the efficiency of our training service provided.

 

Coffee Knowledge

List+Beisler’s contribution to the 4th edition of “The Coffee Guide”

Blog by: Philip von der Goltz, 14.10.2021

Being in charge of sustainability, marketing, and digitalization at List + Beisler, these were special weeks for me. More than 20 years ago, I started working in the beautiful world of coffee. I was only a couple of weeks into the new job when international coffee prices reached their historically lowest levels of 41.50 c/lb. This was in December 2001. Back then, it looked like the end of the coffee world to me. Luckily, I was proven wrong!
Extreme price volatility is one of many factors directly affecting everyone's lives and businesses in the coffee value chain. However, the most fragile member in our community is the coffee farmer, particularly the smallholder farmer. Coffee farmers depend on the international coffee prices and Mother Nature's mood, local currency volatility, and political developments. Many factors come together and are often far beyond their influence.

Coffee: a complex body of knowledge
A thorough understanding of the coffee world is a time-intense endeavor yet key to improving your own knowledge and your decision-making capabilities. In my own journey, I had the privilege of learning from some of the industry's bests. Still, there is plenty of room for further development. After all these years, I came to at least one firm belief: coffee is a livelong-learning process; the more you know, the more you realize there is more to learn and understand. The complexity of this global business creates an ever-evolving and changing reality on production, trade, consumption, and many other components of the magical elixir. Knowledge needs to be adjusted and updated constantly.

So, how to start and what to learn? The nature of complexity is that it is hard to summarize and simplify. Coffee grows all over the globe and is consumed in many ways. Suppose you want to understand not only your own perspective but genuinely thrive on the job. In that case, it is crucial to get ideas, thoughts, facts, and science-based insights combined from as many professionals as possible. Hence, choose your sources wisely.

Back in 1992, the first Coffee Guide was published by the United Nations' International Trade Centre (UN/ITC). It turned into the leading source of information on coffee matters for professionals. It was a commodity handbook, mainly written by Jan van Hilten and Morten Scholer. After the initial success, they continued and developed two additional coffee guides (published in 2002 and 2012) together with a team of industry experts. This – in my opinion – fantastic work provided the coffee industry with detailed knowledge, providing an invaluable asset for the coffee world.
Almost 10 years have passed since the last publication. It was not only time to update information but also to adjust to new realities.

Source: ITC "Building on the legacy: From commodity handbook to comprehensive working tool."

How it started and team-building
Eighteen months ago, Hernan Manson, head of UN/ITC's Alliances for Action unit, asked me to take over this immense task of updating ITC's Coffee Guide. As honoring this task is, it is also challenging. On day 1 of this project, Hernan and I had just started scoping the depth of this endeavor when we slowly realized the dimension of the work on our plate. The vast amount of topics to be covered made me recall a saying from a teacher during my school days: "You don't need to know everything; you just need to know where to find it!". And so we started brainstorming on the individuals with whom we wanted to work together. We built a fully dedicated and brilliant core team: Sarah Charles as my principal co-author, editor, and creative powerhouse. She is a well-known writer, having already worked on several coffee publications. Martina Bozzola, an outstanding academic, the most charming professor in economics and agriculture at the Queen's University of Belfast, and a senior research associate at Zurich University for Applied Science. Tommaso Ferretti, an expert on sustainable trade finance, finished his PhD at McGill University and became a father when creating this new guide edition. He surely had very short nights, but not only due to the newborn baby. Eleni Gerakari, getting all our thoughts and ideas into actionable work and getting some order into our creative mess. She is an invaluable asset to all of us! Last but not least: Neil Rosser – the data master. His knowledge goes back to more than 30 years of profound insights into the numbers that make the world of coffee go round.
Next to our core team, we engaged a highly professional and committed group of over 70 industry experts. The range is wide: from coffee farmers, cooperatives, exporters, importers, roasters, coffee shops, consultants to academia, international institutions, NGOs, and associations of all sorts. We are proud to have covered the whole coffee stakeholder community. This network of highly-passioned coffee lovers is one of the core assets of the new guide.

What is new?
Let me give you a quick glimpse of what is new:
• Sustainability is a core topic, with an attempt to guide the industry towards the new normal
• Latest statistics and trends: Production numbers are split into three groups that differentiate between standard, premium, and specialized coffees.
• There is a focus on user-friendliness. Eight independent modules with a corresponding toolbox adding practical advice and case studies.
• A new chapter on the latest innovations is now part of the guide. This mainly involves the digital side of the business.

After an intense 18 months, I am beyond happy to finally launch this new edition. I stand amazed and thankful to all of you who have supported us in getting this mammoth project done! With this Coffee Guide, we set the cornerstones for a new legacy and hope to have contributed to a better understanding of the coffee world for professionals all along the value chain. The challenges of the next few years will increase and become more severe. May the new Coffee Guide help us in finding proper and sustainable solutions.

Where to find it?
No other day could have been better for officially launching the 4th edition of The Coffee Guide than International Coffee Day (October 1, 2021).
You can download "The Coffee Guide, 4th Edition" for free here.

Looking forward to your comments and impressions!

We Are Hiring!

Looking For a Coffee Trader in Miami

Area: Trade
Location: Miami, FL
Start: asap

About List + Beisler:

L+B is a green coffee importing company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, and founded in 1901. We import coffee from all over the world to all over the world. We have been selling green coffee in the USA for over a half century but only recently opened a bricks and mortar location. In January 2021 we opened our US Headquarters in Miami, FL, having previously operated in New York, NY.

L+B has been a market leader in the green coffee importing space for over 100 years. We have worked with coffee roasters and coffee growers all over the world - working to connect them, working to foster ongoing relationships, and working towards mutually beneficial goals since the very beginning. We have consistently been that dependable partner, and we are excited to continue to grow toward more opportunities.

We currently have a small-but-mighty US based sales team that we are looking to grow. In the past year, despite the obstacles created by the pandemic, we have seen our business develop considerably and require more seats at the table.

About the Position:

This position will come with training and mentorship. While some experience is needed, we are open to helping a career-minded coffee professional grow in their knowledge and ability to sell green coffee. This position is equal opportunity, BIPOC/LGBT+ friendly, and ALL interested parties are encouraged to apply.

We are a customer focused company, so customer service skills are essential. Forging our way into new market directions means that the person we hire will need to be nimble and capable of balancing different tasks effectively.

A Jr. Coffee Trader is essentially a green coffee salesperson. Sales require:

  • Relational/Communication skills – phone, email, friendly/attentive service
  • Technical skills - computer programing, mathematics, contract details, etc.
  • Coffee skills – tasting, origin knowledge, some understanding of roasting and the industry overall
  • Detail oriented – Due to how technical and how many moving parts this job requires, being organized and able to manage a lot of moving parts will help with success.

A Jr. Trader will be responsible for building their own list of clients, working with the team to meet those clients' needs, processing orders, managing contracts/accounts receivable, processing sample orders, familiarizing themselves with the coffee inventory (mainly through tasting offerings and knowing the data,) pricing, shipping, and more. 

This is why being a part of a team that is built on collaboration and collective effort is so important. Our team works interdependently, and we are all in this to help each other, our clients, and the farmers we all support reach our own versions of success. Welcome to the team!

Role and Responsibilities

Green Coffee Trading

  • New client development
  • Sales to new clients
  • Customer retention/service
  • Triage calls for Sr. team members
  • Coffee cupping
  • Tender samples
  • Maintain prospect spreadsheet for onboarding new clientele
  • Attend coffee industry events and represent L+B
  • Create/Maintain mailers, some minor marketing materials
  • Participate is sales meetings

Qualifications and Education Requirements

  • College Degree
  • Coffee Industry Experience

Preferred Skills

  • Detailed Oriented
  • Coffee cupping skills
  • Strong PC skills – Excel, Microsoft Office
  • Spanish and/or Portuguese language skills
  • Mailchimp

Additional Notes

L+B USA is in start-up mode. This position may adapt and change with growth, opportunities, and as the company moves into the future.

Please send your application to Sam.Grigg@list-beisler.us. We look forward to meeting you!

Sustainability

We are the first World Coffee Research partner in Germany!

Sustainability is inseparably linked to our company's DNA. List + Beisler has been promoting and supporting sustainability projects in coffee-growing regions for a very long time.

We mainly focus on coffee-related trainings for coffee farmers. Our primary topics of training include best practices for farm health, harvesting, processing, and caring for coffee quality during production. The main objective of the projects is to improve the farmers' quality and productivity through enhancements of their agronomy and production skills, or "software," such as better pruning techniques and composting methods.

The limitation we regularly face is the existing infrastructure, or the "hardware" – the coffee trees themselves. We typically find randomly mixed varieties that have been planted conveniently, but not strategically optimized for providing the farmer higher quality, more productivity, and efficiency.

This must change if we hope to improve an existing farm's chances of not only having a sustainable business model but especially in our pursuits for improvements. This caused us to begin looking for ways to transform the farm design with those farmers who wish to see these improvements made. After an extensive search, we were able to find an organization specifically addressing these needs utilizing a scientific, progressive, non-GMO approach and potential solutions.

We are very happy to announce our partnership with World Coffee Research (WCR).

We had the great opportunity to meet Vern Long, the new CEO of WCR in Berlin during the WOC. She attended our company's get-together, and with refreshing drinks in our hands, we explored collaborating.

This is what we learned about the WCR: they are a collaborative, not-for-profit research organization, formed by the global coffee industry in 2012. Using advances in agricultural science, it is possible to improve coffee yields, quality, climate resilience, and farmer livelihoods. WCR focuses exactly on this work: they use advanced and applied research in coffee genetics (no GMO!) and agronomy to create new coffee varieties and imagine new agronomic approaches. Adding these new varieties to the farm increases biodiversity at farm level.

Improved and focused diversity does a couple of things:

1) With more biodiversity, a farm is able to weather the storm of new pests as well as a changing climate.

2) With focused variety planting, a farm can plant the "correct" varieties for their specific geography and climatic conditions. This allows a coffee tree to be put into an environment that fits its needs. A happy tree is a healthy tree, and healthy trees produce more and better coffee.

The WCR has an excellent network of leading scientists and institutions in coffee-producing countries around the world. Together, they develop solutions that are quickly implementable and flow straight to innovative and quality-focused coffee farmers.

Not only are we partnering with WCR, but we are inviting you to partner as well!
How can you participate? How does it work?

  • Roasters agree to donate USD 0,01— USD 0,10 per pound (EUR 0,02 – EUR 0,20 per kilo) of coffee purchased through List + Beisler.
  • List + Beisler matches the donation of the roaster with USD 0,01 per pound (EUR 0,02 per kilo) of the coffee purchased through us.
  • List + Beisler keeps track of coffee sales to roasters, adding however many cents per pound/kilo the roaster has indicated to the coffee purchased. The contribution is included as a cost of doing business on the roaster's invoice, similar to docking costs, brokerage fees, or warehousing costs.
  • List + Beisler collects the funds and disperses them to WCR four times a year.
  • Once set up with List + Beisler, there is no work for you.

You can find more info on worldcoffeeresearch.org or contact us at any time!

Trip to Tanzania

Machare Estate, Kilimanjaro

Machare Estate, Kilimanjaro. Starting off in the Kilimanjaro region, we were welcomed with unusual sunshine for these times. Machare Estate allows you to have a cup of coffee with a direct view onto Kilimanjaro. The farm is surrounded by two rivers and nestled on the lush slopes of the Kilimanjaro Mountain. Bente, the owner of Machare, aims to cultivate 100 % organically certified coffee in a few years. She has quite some talent to teach herself things that go beyond her in-depth knowledge of coffee: an irrigation system that supplies the whole plantation with only one pump and a Tanzanian-tailored organic fertilizer are only two of the projects she successfully executed in the past years. Imagine a farm that has experimented with so many best practices from all over the world, that it is considered state-of-the-art coffee processing in East Africa. This results not only in a unique set-up involving much of the surrounding communities but also in a high-quality cup that constantly convinces with beautiful aromas and high complexity. Machare's coffees are full of tomato, bergamot and berries that play with smooth citric acidity. We have had these coffees for several years now and can only support her engagement that reflects these colorful aromas in one cup.

During our visit in August, parts of the Machare Estate had ripened much earlier than in previous years. Picking in lower altitudes had already begun. Not only on Machare, but also on the many surrounding smallholder farms, people had started to pick the first ripe cherries. Samples should come to our lab in November, first coffees should reach our warehouse in Germany by March.

Last year, we entered a joint project to strengthen Machare's surrounding communities. To us, a strong coffee community with established infrastructure enables synergies as well as stable supply from the region. The goal of the project was to imrpove coffee processing for Machare's neighboring Central Pulping Units (CPU's). These CPU's are owned and operated by the surrounding smallholder farmers to depulp, ferment, wash and dry the parchment of many in one facility. Together with Bente, we decided to supply the CPU's with shade nets and plastic canvas to support their drying processes on African drying beds. Originally, shade nets were used in olive processing, covering the olives and drying them in a more gentile way. Farmers at the Kilimanjaro already dry their parchment in the shade of many trees. Nevertheless, these nets still come in handy. Drying the parchment involves regular turning to ensure constant quality. Placing the parchment on nets rather than directly on wire has several advantages:

keyboard_arrow_rightThe wire is hard to replace or repair as the material is rising in price

keyboard_arrow_rightHandling becomes easier, no beans are missed out on or fall through the wire, parchment can be poured all at once

keyboard_arrow_rightAlready tucked in nets, parchment can be quickly wrapped in canvas in order to protect from rain and humidity at night

The CPU's range in size: the biggest one in the area gathers 74 farmers while others collect the cherries of 10 farmers only. A total of 158 shade nets and 100 plastic canvas were given to 13 CPU's neighboring Machare. Using the shade nets means another step to professionalization and towards a more consistent quality. Easing the work of coffee farmers supports keeping the farm job attractive for generations to follow. Ensuring a stable coffee infrastructure usually creates greater coffees for roasters and coffee lovers. Thank you Bente for your support!

At origin

Giving back to the people at origin

Back in February 2018, we visited the Sidamo coffee producing region together with our Ethiopian Partners, Moplaco. During this trip, besides visiting producers, we were introduced to one of the projects that Moplaco has developed in this region in collaboration with the local community: The Sergera Elementary School.

This school was built over 8 years ago and its intention was to create an environment that would encourage children to attend classes. Year by year, attendance has improved and now about 2000 children attend the school. Since its early beginnings, the school has significantly improved but as the people at Moplaco put it, "it is an ongoing feat".

The school operates on two shifts, morning and afternoon, in which 1000 children attend at a time. Currently, it has 10 classrooms of which only 2 have concrete floor, the remaining have a sandy dirt floor covered by wood straps. This type of flooring, although cheap is the perfect environment for fleas to nest, which represents a problem to already overcrowded classrooms.

At List + Beisler, we believe in fostering sustainable communities within the coffee industry. On this occasion, we have decided to collaborate with Moplaco and the Community of Sergera to help renovate further classrooms, improve the floors and walls as well as provide them with furniture, with the aim of creating a safer and healthier environment for the children; a space where they can learn and work in better conditions.

The project will span from March 2018 until December 2018 and during this time, we are tasked with managing the overall project design. Moplaco will collaborate as manager of the overall project while the community of Sergera will be involved as workers.

We believe that bettering the overall existing infrastructure will give children the opportunity to learn in proper conditions.

Stay tuned for updates on the project.

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