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The rising coffee prices is causing many concerns

– TASTE THE ORIGIN –

The domestic coffee market continues to receive breaking news of record-breaking prices, reaching new peaks. After a period that eroded the confidence of farmers, leading them to abandon coffee cultivation for other crops, there are now many positive signs emerging. Alongside the joy of profit, the rising coffee prices also bring many concerns for businesses, coffee shop owners, and others. What is the cause of this?

 

Rising coffee prices leads to concerns about quality

 

Not only facing budget concerns, but the rising coffee prices also make brand owners and businesses worry about quality issues, as many production facilities are more focused on chasing market prices rather than investing in the intrinsic quality of coffee beans. Specifically, there are opinions suggesting that Dak Lak – a specialized coffee cultivation region in the Central Highlands of Vietnam – will have to confront this issue. Previously, while farmers had concerns about low profits, the commitment to specialized cultivation, caring for the trees, and harvesting only when the coffee is fully ripe were ensured. In fact, to sell beans at a high price, many farmers have made significant efforts to meet the harvesting requirements, store coffee as demanded, and adhere to the standards set by processing businesses.

The current upward trend in coffee prices may be the cause of farmers violating these standards. A common behavior is to rush to sell due to fears of falling coffee prices. The current crop will be harvested earlier, and the preservation and processing of the beans may not be well-maintained, compromising the quality of the coffee entering the market. Over time, subsequent incidents may involve the use of growth-stimulating substances, affecting the quality of the crops.

Underripe coffee beans cannot deliver the best quality. Naturally, the finished coffee cup will not achieve the desired “goodness” that consumers expect. This could lead customers to turn away from the brand.

Due to these concerns, many processing facility owners have become more cautious in determining the source regions for their units. Some have even shifted their sourcing to Kon Tum, where the production activities of many farms are aimed more at the quality of export-grade beans rather than pursuing market value.

rising coffee prices

The farmers are happy about the increase in coffee prices, but business owners are not necessarily pleased

 

Rising coffee prices poses a potential threat to the output of Tay Nguyen coffee

 

To ensure product quality, many entities have opted to import coffee beans for production. Businesses are closely monitoring the situation as the Central Highlands region enters the new crop season. If harvest quality remains uncertain, businesses may consider importing coffee beans for production again.

Over the long term, if this trend spreads to other units, the trend of importing coffee beans from outside sources will be established in processing and specialized coffee businesses, putting the output of coffee from the Central Highlands at risk. This raises concerns about how coffee farmers in the Central Highlands, who specialize in coffee cultivation, will fare when the free market subsequently drives prices down.

Agricultural production has been in a state of instability lately. Farmers tend to shift to crops that fetch higher prices. When coffee prices drop, farmers abandon coffee cultivation to grow more lucrative crops such as durian. However, currently, people are returning to coffee cultivation. Therefore, this will create instability in processing and specialized production activities, and businesses will struggle to pursue investment projects for cultivating and developing high-quality coffee production chains.

 

How to address concerns when coffee prices rise?

 

One crucial aspect of addressing these issues lies in collaboration between government agencies, organizations, and farmers. Management agencies, associations, and related organizations need to take positive actions, providing both supportive measures and encouraging farmers to strengthen cooperation with specialized processing businesses. At the same time, farmers should not hastily follow market prices but instead invest seriously in the quality of crops and harvested coffee beans. This way, production and business activities in the new coffee market can ensure sustainable plans for the future.

For long-term price stability, farmers need to focus more on quality, elevating the stature of Vietnamese coffee in both domestic and international markets.

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