Term Paper: Coffee Industry According to Legend

Pages: 21 (5646 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - Latin-American  ·  Buy for $19.77

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[. . .] While the plan was initiated in the best interest of the economy, the bottom line was that, without incentive to produce quality, most of Brazil's farmers focused their energies on producing volume instead of taste." (ibid) The IBC was dissolved in 1991 and the industry in the country was essentially left without clear direction. This uncertainly was not helped by the frost of 1994 which created havoc for the industry. However, in the last few years efforts have been made to reconstruct the industry and to establish a more stable and organized framework for production.

In the past six years, the country has poured much of its energy into a targeted plan of restructuring. Farming and export efforts have been proving relatively lucrative and Brazil now has the chance to show the world what it is made of. " (ibid)

In this regard the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) has been instrumental in uplifting the quality and international prestige of the Brazilian output. "BSCA meetings are held to discuss ways to improve harvest, coffee processing and the overall product. There is a quality control structure in place which evaluates practices and monitors quality. The organization also promotes the exchange of experiences, information and technology among its member companies. (ibid)

Brazil has a large internal market for its coffee, with its population of 160 million people. The domestic market accounts for 40% of unroasted beans. "This breaks down to 8 to 9 million sacks used by the roasting and grinding industry and 0.8 million sacks for the manufacture of instant coffee. Of the 60% that is exported about 2.4 million sacks are used to make instant coffee while about 15 million sacks are exported as green beans." (Coffee FAO)

Other export statistics for the region are as follows: During March - October 1999 Brazil harvested 27,170,000 bags (60kg) and exported

23,135,000 bags during this same period. This also is an indication of the ratio of export and internal consumption. (Exportation Statistics) Significantly, coffee consumption within Brazil grew from 8.2 million to 12.7 million bags during the past ten years. More detailed statistics of exports in relation to production can be obtained from figures 3, 4 and 5 in the addendum below.

Plans for the future of Brazil's coffee industry includes "further expansion of consumption, market segmentation and an increase in exports of roast and ground coffee. The goal is to reach 15 million bags of internal consumption and 1 million bags of roast and ground exports in a few years."

ROSANNA. M)

Brazil exports to almost every coffee consuming country in the world. The main importers are the United States, Germany, Japan, France and Italy. (ibid) However, some claim, that there is a disparity between the productions of quality as opposed to quantity.

So who is buying Brazil's beans? Everyone, of course -- its steady supply alone ensures its popularity. Its main export markets are the U.S., Germany, Japan, France and Italy. Yet, most often it ends up mixed into mediocre blends. And while it may be true that a large portion of the beans are worthy of such an end, with the overall production volume at a high, Brazil's odds of turning out quality coffee is also high. However, breaking through their reputation for quantity and not quality has been a long and frustrating road. (ibid)

Colombia is also an important coffee producing area with an estimated 10.5 million bags produced annually. It is also the only South American country with access to Atlantic and Pacific ports, which is a distinct advantage for shipping and export. An interesting point is that the importance of coffee for economic growth is such that all vehicles entering the country are disinfected in case they might contain bacteria that could be harmful to coffee crops.

The coffee industry in the country is specifically orientated towards export and Columbia is second only to Brazil in world trade. "Colombia held a firm second place in global production, surpassed only by the behemoth Brazil (Ulcers 1922, 273 ff.)."

Rice 554) Columbia is renowned for the quality of its coffee. However, one disadvantage for the coffee industry is the rugged terrain of the country. This impedes transport and hence processing and export. In terms of coffee, the country has achieved many distinctions. Among these are that it is the largest producer of washed coffee as well as the largest exporter of Arabica. During the periods October-February and April-June (1999), Columbia harvested 9,300,000 Bags (60kg) of coffee and exported 9,995,000 bags.

The Ecuadorian Amazon region

In the Amazon region there are"... approximately 130,000 ha. Of coffee... divided into 25 coffee farms; in other words, there is an average of 5 ha. Of this product per farm." (Product Profile: Coffee Extracts) www.sica.gov.ec

The average yield for this region is 500 to 700 lb. per hectare/year of pilled coffee (2,500-3,500 lb. Of cherry coffee). (ibid) This is an important region as All the coffee grown is of the Robusta variety and the production yield of these Amazon provinces represents 60% of the total production of this variety, meaning that this part of the country produces around 600,000 bags per year" (ibid). An important fact is that the production is entirely for local consumption. Another important fact is that Ecuador is one of the few countries in the world where both Arabic and Robusta are produced. (ibid)

Other Countries

Among the coffee producing giants of the world is Indonesia with an estimated 6.7 million bags produced annually. Both Java and Sumatra produce high quality Arabica. The Indonesian archipelago is the world's largest producer of Robusta. Most of the growing takes place on small farms and is mostly dry processed.

Indonesia is also known for its fine aged coffees. Traditionally, these were coffees held over a period of time by farmers who wanted to sell them at higher prices. Warehousing, it was found, gently aged the coffee in Indonesia's warm, damp climate and resulted in a coffee prized for even deeper body and less acidity. It is a process which cannot be matched by technology. (National Coffee Association of America Inc.)

Indonesia is an important producer, with a contribution of seven percent of the total world supply. It is the third largest coffee producer worldwide. (Producing Countries)

Vietnam - with approximately 5.8 million bags produced annually - has become one of the major players in the world market. French missionaries introduced coffee to the region in the 1860's - but there was only minimal production until 1980. The industry has expanded since then and there are even concerns that the industry is growing too rapidly. Vietnam is known for its production of Robusta beans. The country is the fourth largest Asian coffee producer and is twenty-first in the overall rating of coffee production.

Mexico is another important coffee producing and exporting country. There are over 100, 000 small farms in the country which generate an annual crop of over five million bags. Mexico is also the largest exporter of coffee products to the United States.

Ethiopia, as has been stated, is the original home of the Arabica coffee plant and is also Africa's top Arabica exporter. Over 12 million Ethiopians make their living from coffee growing, processing and export.

One cannot exclude India in an overview of major coffee producing countries. Coffee production operates under the control of the Indian Coffee Board in this country. India produces about 3.9 million bags a year.

Another important country is Cote d'Ivoire. This country was the second largest producer of Robusta during the 1990's. However, quality declined in the bid for increased production. Some commentators claim that the drop in quality is also due to a lack of investment in the industry. (Top Ten Coffee producing Nations)

Uganda is another country that should be mentioned. It produces more than three million bags of Robusta a year but very little Arabica.

3. Process and supply chain

There are two main types of coffee production systems - commonly known as "full-sun" and "shade-grown." An important aspect to bear in mind is that the two different types of coffee - Arabica and Robusta - require very different growing conditions. Generally Robusta grows better in hotter and wetter climates. "Full-sun coffee sometimes referred to as 'technified', high-input coffee, tends to be Robusta coffee planted in mono-crop stands. Robusta originated in West Africa and performs better in hotter and wetter climates."

Coffee. FAO)

There has been a movement in the industry since the end of the Second World War to increase the production of coffee in Latin American counties through technological rather than traditional "shaded" methods.

A push to 'technify' coffee has greatly affected its 'place'. Estimates are that around 67% of the 3.1 million hectares of coffee land in Northern Latin America have been affected by intensification (technified or semi-technified). On average, 26% of the coffee lands in the region have been transformed to the modern system. In more and more countries in Northern… [END OF PREVIEW]

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