ICO surveys exporting member on impact of COVID-19

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) has released the third issue of its Coffee Break Series economic publication, titled ‘Impact of COVID-19 on the global coffee sector: Survey of ICO exporting members’.

The coronavirus represents an unprecedented joint supply and demand shock to the global coffee sector. Against this backdrop, the ICO launched a survey of exporting member countries to assess the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on their coffee sectors, from farm to export gate and to identify mitigation measures and additional resources required.

The ICO says the survey provides a snapshot of current perceptions of trends in coffee-exporting countries.

“COVID-19 pandemic represents a further challenge to the coffee sector, which was already suffering a prolonged period of low prices,” representatives of Indonesia tell the ICO.

“For the coffee sector, the consequent delay or postponement of orders by consumer countries could cause the definitive closure of many farms with the consequent destruction of entire local coffee-based economies.”

The ICO says the majority of respondents expect that employment, revenues, domestic consumption, and export will be negatively affected by the pandemic.

This is likely to be due to travel restrictions and social distancing measures that lead to higher cost of production, while impacting employment and revenues generated in the coffee sector.

Domestic consumption is affected through reduced consumer income and social distancing measures.

Exports are likely to be affected by disruptions in international trade and reduced global demand. The ICO says the impact on coffee production at the time of the survey remains somewhat ambiguous, with almost two-thirds of the responding countries not being affected.

It adds the impacts on coffee production might become more visible in the second half of the year, when more countries enter the harvesting season or liquidity constraints at farm level may lead to reduced input use.

The results and insights of the survey support ICO advocacy for, and access to, resources and funding to help mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the health, social, and economic life of all those working in the coffee sector with special focus on exporting countries.

Read the report HERE.

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