Impact of Covid-19 on the Honduran Coffee Industry

  

For the past few harvests, low commodity prices have led to a significant impact on Honduran Coffee farmers. Additionally, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has worsened their situation. Marcos Lozano, export manager at COMSA mentioned, “we had great expectations at the beginning of the season because good coffee prices always motivate small farmers, but this didn’t last long as coffee prices began to drop in January of this year.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has really challenged small farmers in Honduras, along with other factors such as the low price crisis, migration, and climate change. It’s worth mentioning that Honduras has more than 120,000 small coffee farmers that their main income comes from their coffee production. 

 

 

The COVID-19 Impact on the Honduran Coffee Supply Chain 

 

Honduras is the largest coffee producing country in Central America. However, the pandemic began to affect the country just as the coffee harvest season was coming to an end, interfering with several contracts and delaying the export process. The authorities at the Honduran Coffee Institute declared that by May 2020, there would be a 7% year over year decline in coffee exports. These circumstances have presented new risks and challenges for small coffee farmers.

With many access roads being closed, there is an increased probability of their trucks getting stuck with a full loaf of coffee. Meanwhile in Taiwan, coffee shop owners and roasters have found ways to experiment during the coffee bean shortage as other supplying countries are facing the same challenges. Key factors such as communication, quality control, and logistics have been disrupted during the pandemic, so we must rely on the trusting relationship we’ve developed with the farmers. 

 

Low Price Crises Impact

 

When the Honduran harvest season began in October, market prices seemed to be promising. By mid-January, prices began to fall, altering the commercialization process as many negotiations were to be settled in early 2020. Coffee is the leading agricultural product in Honduras, representing 30% of the Honduran agricultural GDP and 5% of the National GDP, according to a study conducted by the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE). The low price crisis has threatened coffee production levels in Honduras and small farmers have been left without the resources they could count on in previous seasons.

This situation has interrupted the operational process of crucial activities such as fertilization, employment, and general farm maintenance. Some coffee farmers are hoping to rely on other crops such as corn and beans, while others are fleeing the country in search of better opportunities. With the Honduran economy relying so highly on coffee production, government assistance  (and integrated communication from all the players in the coffee supply chain) is crucial now more than ever.

 

 

 

Is there a hope for Small farmers ?

  

Zircle Coffee ( Green coffee bean importer ) is aiming to help several producers, as our team in Honduras speeds up the coffee export process. Over the years, we’ve been working with several specialty farmers, some with extensive experience than others but with two common factors, quality and passion for coffee.

As tough as the situation may be, we believe that we  have built a sustainable business model and direct relationship with coffee producers, so that our customers in Taiwan can still rely on our work that we can provide specialty coffees that fit their needs and standards, at the same time, we enable our farmers to maintain a business relationship that produces a stable income year by year.

 

 

READ MORE ABOUT "FARM LIQUIDAMBAR"

 

新冠肺炎對整個宏都拉斯咖啡產業的影響

 

在過去幾個產季之中,期貨市場價格嚴重影響宏都拉斯的咖啡農民們,而今年,新冠肺炎(Covid-19)的來臨更是讓整個情勢加劇。馬科斯 洛薩諾(Marcos Lozano),COMSA處理廠出口的負責人這樣說道 “在產季開始之前整個市場價格走向看起來是樂觀的,而好的市場價格也讓小莊園的農民們產生動力,但直到一月,市場價格開始下降,我們期待的心情也跟著隨之而去。”新冠肺炎(Covid-19)對產區的農民們真的產生極大挑戰,同時也伴隨著其他的因素,像是低價格的危機,移民和氣候變遷等等...。

 

 

新冠肺炎對宏都拉斯咖啡供應鏈的影響

 

宏都拉斯是中美洲最大的咖啡生產國,而不幸的是,新冠肺炎(Covid-19)在產季的尾聲到來,讓很多立約及出口的時間都得延後。宏都拉斯的咖啡產業權威也表示,這樣的狀況會帶給整個產業特別是中小莊園很大的損失,預計2020五月的出口量相較去年將會減少7%,而隨著道路封閉,許多滿載著咖啡豆的貨車也無法通行。

同一時間在台灣,因其他咖啡產國遇到上述相同的困境,臺灣店家遭遇到咖啡豆短缺的狀況,但在短短的時間內,已經慢慢地找到了解決方式。而如何突破這樣的窘境?靠的是溝通、品質管理還有運輸上相互合作,更是要找到能夠信任及依賴的產地夥伴。

 

 

 

低價危機

 

去年十月產季開始時,期貨市場價格似乎是能夠被期望的,直到今年的一月中,價格開始下跌,改變了商業化過程,很多談判交易都在2020年的初期定下。

咖啡是宏都拉斯農產品的最大宗,根據宏都拉斯咖啡產業協會(IHCAFE)的數據顯示,咖啡佔據了宏都拉斯30%的農產GDP和5%國內GDP,而市場價格低廉的狀況真的會威脅到宏都拉斯中小型農莊的生產水平,農民們沒有從前一季度得到足夠的資源,導致處理咖啡豆的關鍵流程收到影響,像是肥料不足、人員短缺還有農場維護等等...,有些農民甚至轉向依靠其他農作物的收入來維持生計。

宏都拉斯經濟高度依賴咖啡生產,政府的援助和所有咖啡產業相關人員的溝通協調,是此時此刻最需要的。

 

 

 

小農的希望?

 

Zircle Coffee(臺灣咖啡生豆進口商)的宗旨就是在幫助咖啡生產者,我們在宏都拉斯的團隊加快了所有出口的流程,讓生產者們能夠更快速地獲得應得的回報。經過這些年,我們已經找到了一些生產精品豆的莊主們和我們持續合作,他們都擁有了兩個共通點,對於咖啡的熱情還有對於品質維護的重視性。

儘管情勢嚴峻,但我們相信我們已經建立起一個穩定的商業模式並且和咖啡農民們有直接的合作關係,因此,在台灣的客戶才能繼續信任Zircle Coffee所做的一切,相信我們能夠繼續提供符合客戶需求跟標準的咖啡豆,同樣地,我們也能夠跟農民們持續維持良好互信的關係,提供他們每年穩定的收入。