Price Regulation to Save Mexican Coffee?By María Fernanda Barría | Wed, 04/21/2021 - 07:00
The Mexican Association of the Coffee Production Chain (AMECAFÉ) has asked President López Obrador to regulate prices to improve the living conditions of producers. “The organization wants prices to be regulated in a way that allows producers to recover production costs. Everyone has the right to benefit from a small profit that allows them to live,” said Luis Herrera, Director of AMECAFÉ, in an interview published by Reuters. Herrera emphasized that in Mexico, coffee-growing areas are also the poorest in the country. “If the sector is not supported, migration will increase and the fields will be abandoned,” he continued, stressing the importance of coffee plantations in the fight against global warming.
Today, the federal government is already working on policies aimed at promoting this type of crop through programs such as Production for Well-Being, aimed at encouraging small and medium-sized producers. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), the program supports around 180,000 coffee growers, 66 percent of them belonging to indigenous groups. In addition, Production for Well-Being launched a coffee financing scheme in 2020. This emergency program seeks to provide liquidity to farmers to sustain their productive activity in the face of the sanitary contingency.
Domestic products have been affected by the coffee rust epidemic, while the effects of climate change have aggravated fungal infestations. The situation worsened as a consequence of COVID-19, as the pandemic prevented approximately 40 percent of Guatemalan coffee growers from entering the country to harvest the crop.
Herrera is hopeful that production of premium organic products will increase by 25 percent as he expects certified organic coffee production to double the annual growth led by fair trade practices adopted by companies like Starbucks. Iván Román, Coordinator of the Francisco de Asís Agri-Ecology Center (CASFA), told Agronoticias that the production and commercialization of organic coffee has maintained, as commercial channels that support the economy have been sustained. “The production model we manage is organic, ecological and environmentally responsible, which stimulates the interest of the international market and allows us to offer a higher price to CASF producers,” he said.