Instant Coffee Insane Price Increases
7 June 2023
The price of coffee on the wholesale market peaked in February 2022, after frost damaged the 2021-22 harvest in Brasil. So why are we seeing headlines about soaring instant coffee prices over a year later? And why so much more expensive?
Partly because coffee is often traded on long term contracts which run out months after the spot price changes. This is not a bad thing as it gives more security to often impoverished producers. In fact the it is a crucial part of the Fairtrade system which guarantees prices and long term contract to producers. We sell Fairtrade coffee and as we like to do the best for the planet so we focus on dual certified organic Fairtrade origins.
To get back to the coffee market, most contracts are well under 18 months so there must be other factors at work. Instant coffee has always been a poor deal as food processors naturally charge extra for an extra process. In addition they are predictably, like everyone else, blaming fuel prices. It's true that the process requires energy and involves extra transport but it's hard to explain the scale of the rises without reference to that fine old capitalist tradition: profiteering.