Daiane Vital embracing her mother Vanilda de Souza Vital, south of Minal Geraris Brazil. Photo: Danielle Sereio
“The industry must do a better job at telling coffee’s history, beyond those who carried the bean throughout different parts of the world…”
– Phyllis Johnson, BD Imports, NCA Board Member
In the most recent issue, Roast Magazine published an insightful and important article by Phyllis Johnson, NCA board member and BD Imports president & co-founder.
“Strong Black Coffee, Why Aren’t African Americans More Prominent in The Coffee Industry?” features perspectives from 14 black coffee professionals.
The following is a summary of the original piece, with new reflections and an update from Johnson’s recent trip to Brazil during International Coffee Week.
Editor’s note: Next month, the global coffee industry will gather in Medellin for the World Coffee Producers Forum to explore how to strengthen farmers, discussing sustainability, labor, managing price volatility, and improving productivity and yields. Here, Frederick Kawuma, Secretary General of the Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO), sets the stage for these discussions by providing an overview from the producers’ perspective.
Coffee farmer Feleke Dukamo checks the latest coffee prices. Source: Wikimedia Commons
By Frederick Kawuma, Secretary General of the Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO)
There has recently been a spate of studies analyzing the income of coffee farmers. The first thing that becomes evident is that the income from coffee farming varies depending on the country, and even the region within the country, where the studies have been done.
The second thing that becomes evident is that the income from coffee farming depends on the price the farmer gets for his coffee, which depends on “the market.”
“As a regressive tax borne largely by consumers, the proposal can hurt […] hundreds of independent roasters, coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, and suppliers. Aimed at promoting a healthy diet, the tax would have the opposite effect if applied to coffee.” – William M. Murray, CEO, NCA
The Seattle City Council will vote on introducing a “soda tax” in the city on Monday. The measure would put a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, and would impact coffee as collateral damage. Furthermore, small businesses would be disproportionately affected.
The National Coffee Association has submitted the following letter to the City Council to express the industry’s strong position on how the tax would severely impact the local coffee economy and that coffee should be exempt should any soda tax be ratified.
Read the full NCA comment letter.
In the News
Is Seattle’s proposed soda tax also a tax on sugary lattes?
Tell the Seattle city council that levying a soda tax on coffee would have unintended and unanticipated consequences for the coffee industry and local businesses. Send an email to email@example.com, or call 206-684-8888.
Comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By William (Bill) Murray, CEO, NCA
The 2016 U.S. presidential election provoked deep passions across the U.S. that continue to be felt today, as the policy implications continue to unfold.
Last December, we took a first look at how coffee-related policies might be impacted by the election, while conceding that there was much yet to be discovered about the new administration.
Among the various initiatives under discussion by the new administration, a “border adjustment tax” potentially has huge implications not only for the coffee sector, but for every coffee drinker in the U.S. – more than 180 million Americans.
Most ironically, in the case of coffee a “border adjustment tax” could raise the price of everyone’s daily coffee, while not having the intended effect of “bringing jobs to America.”
By Joe DeRupo, NCA Director of External Relations & Communications
2016 was a year of uncertainty for the coffee industry, including new threats to basic business norms and protocols.
Here’s an overview of the key issues we faced over the past 12 months, some of the new benefits we’ve made available to members, and what you can expect in the year ahead.