Global coffee body unveils measures to address impact of low coffee prices

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-30 00:51:17|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The International Coffee Organization (ICO) on Friday announced measures aimed at improving the global coffee prices.

Jose Sette, executive director of ICO, said the organization is mobilizing financial resources from the private sector and donors to support the sector, promoting coffee consumption and advocating the importance of coffee sector.

"We intend to ensure that the international coffee community not only receives a fair living income but also long term sustainability of the global coffee sector," Sette told journalists at the end of a five-day conference in Nairobi.

Sette said the organization has lined up series of consultative meetings this year in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) during the relevant international forums.

"The meetings will be held in May, June and September in Italy, Belgium and Britain respectively," Sette said.

The ICO, he said, is building a strong sector wide dialogue by engaging coffee stakeholders, development partners and civil society with the objective of identifying solutions, building consensus and setting measurable commitments towards a sustainable future for coffee growers and meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 124th conference that was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta was attended by 4,500 delegates from all parts of the world.

According to the official, the global coffee consumption continues to grow at a healthy rate of 2 percent annually but millions of coffee growers have to sell their coffee at prices that have fallen by over 30 percent in the past two years.

He said that Asia that was originally a tea consumption region is the new emerging coffee consumption market.

Sette observed that whereas the consumption in Asia has reached 4 percent, the global consumption rate is still 2 percent, signs that production is in crisis while consumption is increasing.

Sette noted that many farmers are unable to cover even their production costs due to reduced use of inputs and maintenance of coffee trees.

"This is the cause of decreased output and lower quality, food insecurity and access to basic services amongst farmers, rural impoverishment and increased migration to urban areas and developed countries," he added.

Sette revealed that the current downward trend in prices is not expected to reverse in the near future and may even force some countries to abandon growing the cash crops due to climate change, pests and disease.