According to new research the COVID-19 pandemic is probably going to cause what authors called a “severe production crisis” in coffee as multifaceted web of socio-economic factors make conditions worse for small coffee farmers.
The multi university study including Rutgers, Purdue, the University of Hawaii, CIRAD, Exeter and Santa Clara University, looked at the leaf rust outbreaks in the Americas in the past and the recent outbreaks elsewhere of the crop-killing disease.
The study also discovered links between a lack of investment in coffee farms under poor socio-economic conditions, the increased prevalence of leaf rust and poor conditions for farmers and other players in the coffee production chain.
The study concluded that further socio-economic problems caused by COVID-19, like impacts on labor and reductions investments, are probably going not create long-term shocks that will threaten global production levels. The final link in this chain will be increased cost for everyday coffee consumers.