Coffee lovers, here’s something to be grateful about. Unlike paper towels, disinfectant or yeast, coffee has never been hard to find during the pandemic.
It has remained widely available on supermarket shelves even though COVID-19 has been particularly bad in some of the world’s largest coffee growing nations. Brazil, which has recorded more cases than any nation other than the United States, is the world’s top producer of coffee. India, Mexico and Colombia all rank in the top ten globally for both COVID cases and coffee production. Other major coffee exporters including Peru and Uganda have found themselves cut off by border closures and lockdowns.
“It’s natural to think that the harvesting of the coffee crops may be disrupted or perhaps badly disrupted,” says Steven Hurst, a coffee trader based in London. “But quite honestly and quite frankly, we’ve seen relatively little, if any, evidence of that.”
For Peru, there are no international flights, and many coffee regions only recently began to have domestic air service. Lockdowns have been very strict, yet cases have been some of the highest in the world. The bigger exporters & Cooperatives with previous contracts have been doing well, but the small farmers that have no long term commitments are suffering.
For us, it meant no trip to Peru this summer, and uncertainty as to when we’ll be able to return.