International Coffee Market
Don't deny it, coffee is a luxury. We don't need it to survive. So, why is it that millions of small coffee farmers all over the world do need it?

Coffee is the second most exported product in the world, after oil.

It shouldn't come as a surprise then that when prices began to fall in 1998 as a result of international overproduction, hundreds of thousands of coffee producers faced a serious financial crisis.

The overproduction was a result of the massive campaign by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund during the 90s that pressured countries in the southeast to increase their coffee production as a strategy to cancel their international debt.

Vietnam is the most famous example. While in 1989, Vietnam was country of little importance in the world of coffee exporting, only 12 years later, thanks to the World Bank, it became the second largest exporter, after Brazil.

In 2001, 2.5 million sacks 60 Kg each were imported at a world level. This same year, for the high production of coffee, producing an overproduction of near 10 million sacks, the international price fell to less than US$0.50 per pound, the lowest price in 50 years.

For the majority of campesinos, this means even less due to the fact that between the producer and the exporter there can be as many as 7 intermediaries through whose hands the coffee passes.

While the campesinos earn less and less, Nestle, Philip Morris, Proctor & Gamble y Sara Lee, who control 60% of the American market and 40% of world sales, continue to register record profits.

Despite the falling prices paid to the small producers and the many corners cut by intermediaries and big corporations, that drastically reduces coffee quality, the prices paid by consumers continues to rise.


Comité Campesino del Altiplano

| Colonia Santa Crúz Quixayá | San Lucas Tolimán, Sololá | Guatemala |

| | 502-804-9451 |

Leocadio Juracán | General Coordinator and Responsable for Comercialization