28 June 2020

Due to a shortage of labor in the collection of beans in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, the critical situation with the supply of coffee beans may continue next year.

The spread of coronavirus in several countries in South America can lead to economic problems — in particular, to a shortage of coffee in the world.

According to the experts, referred to by the publication, “there are serious concerns that there won’t be enough laborers to collect coffee beans.”

Although COVID-19 cases in Latin America, which supply coffee to the world market, are still significantly fewer than in Europe or the US, the disease threatens to leave coffee plantations without pickers.

The agency recalls that the work of coffee pickers in Latin America is often a low-paying job, so workers end up in packed living conditions. That increases the risk of the virus spreading if even just one person is infected.

The other factors that negatively influence the industry include bank closures, introduction of sanitary standards, which reduced working hours, as well as interruptions in transport.

The pressure is especially acute in Colombia, Brazil and Peru, which “account for almost two thirds of world output for the smooth-tasting arabica beans”, the agency says. It reports that this information is confirmed by the representatives of the companies in the above countries, as well as the American firms that work with them.

The publication notes that at the same time, the quarantine measures caused by the pandemic not only failed to reduce the demand for coffee, but, on the contrary, spurred it. People do not order coffee in closed restaurants and coffee shops, but they began to buy the product in stores.

Source - Bloomberg
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