A loss of $540 million annually, so why are the coffee farmers still doing it?

by Chee Leng

It is estimated that 300 000 tons of coffee or $540 million worth of coffee are being lost annually. This is due to the habit of picking unripe coffee beans.

So, why would farmers want to pick unripe coffee beans, or rather why would the exporters want to accept unripe coffee beans. One word: pricing.

Vietnam controls 40% of the world's market when it comes to Robusta, but because of the lower quality, the pricing is being pressed very low.

Robusta is a component of a coffee blend and never the star, thus coffee company are known to give good pricing for it.

The result is farmers have to pick more to hit more tons, so as to make more money. And because of the low pricing, exporter have no choice but to accept the mixed of ripe and unripe coffee beans.

My two cents is Vietnam should control the quality of their coffee beans, and then negotiate for higher dollars per tons.

This way, it would make it meaningful for the farmer to sort the coffee beans, they would have more harvest (allowing the unripe beans to ripen properly).

All these would better the perception of buyer when getting Vietnam coffee beans which would in turn uplift the dollar per ton of their coffee beans.

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