The coffee sector has expanded significantly in the past two decades as global coffee demand increased by 65%, highlighted a report by the International Trade Center (ITC).
Overall, the main driver of growth has been increased consumption in emerging economies and coffee-producing countries.
Where are the business opportunities? The growth of high-value market segments such as specialty coffee, along with product innovations that bring new flavors and more convenience to consumers, have revitalized demand in traditional markets with already high per capita consumption.
Furthermore, according to the report, coffee is of great economic importance for many producing countries.
For some, this is reflected in their share of national export earnings, which can be significant.
Coffee accounts for more than a quarter of the export earnings in Ethiopia and at least 20% of the national export earnings in Burundi.
This is followed by Timor Leste, Uganda and Honduras with a 10 percent share.
Global coffee demand
Coffee is one of the most important tropical staples.
It provides economic benefits at every step of the global value chain that links producers with consumers.
The coffee industry contributes to the economies of exporting and importing countries.
As a beverage, it is the favorite of a growing number of consumers around the world and is one of the most widely traded agricultural products in the world.
In 2017 alone, 70% of the total coffee production was exported, worth 19,000 million dollars, indicates the ITC.
That same year, the sector had a retail market value of $ 83 billion, providing employment for 125 million people.
But that is not this. There are 12.5 million coffee farms around the world, according to Enveritas, and about 95% of them are smaller than five hectares and are considered «small farmers.»
These are predominantly found in 20 countries where the climate and soil are suitable for growing coffee.
Almost half of these farms are located in Ethiopia (2.2 million), Uganda (1.8 million) and Indonesia (1.3 million).
Vietnam, Burundi, Kenya and Colombia each have more than 500,000 farmers.
Small producers are the backbone of this gigantic global industry and at least 5.5 million live below the international poverty line of $ 3.20 a day. The highest levels of poverty are observed in Africa and Oceania.