DUBLIN — Even as the coronavirus pandemic has receded in some parts of the world, coffee drinkers might not be able to sip in peace anytime soon: According to a recent analysis, coronavirus restrictions have likely spurred a crisis across the global coffee industry.
In a study published by the National Academy of Sciences in the US, researchers led by academics from Rutgers University said “socio-economic disruptions” since the start of the pandemic “are likely to drive the coffee industry into another severe production crisis.”
Lead author Kevon Rhiney warned of “serious implications for millions of people across the globe” if there is turmoil in the sector.
Retailers and consumers could be affected, as well as the estimated 100 million people, mostly in low-income countries, who depend on coffee for their livelihoods.
In keeping with a recent jump in food price inflation, global coffee bean prices hit a five-year high earlier in June, prompting fears that rising costs would be passed on to consumers.
While demand for coffee is expected to pick up with the easing of restrictions, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), high shipping costs and a related shortage of containers “remain a major concern to trade.”