This was not a surprise to hear that the major coffee companies have send their teams of coffee buyers with bags of cash into the coffee farms. Let just say, they are marching to a different beat and the sound is money!
Rising coffee prices have upended the coffee trade andKraft, Nestle and Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd have send out teams of coffee buyers to 'woo' the small farm coffee producers to sell their coffee directly to them instead of going through the proper channels of the cooperative. Cooperatives were formed years ago in order to have the small farmers to pool their coffee and to give them a bigger say at the bargaining table and a higher price for coffee. Now. with the demand for coffee at a historical high because of increased demand( China, India) and back-to-back poor harvests in Central and South American, the big guns have come into the farms and offer to pay cash on the spot and at higher prices. These companies for years played by the rules of the cooperatives like the rest of the smaller buyers but when they see that they may have to actually compete for coffee, they changed the rules of play. The cooperatives is a stable entry of business for the coffee farmers and they are there in good times and bad times to work with them.
The high coffee prices will not last for long because the weather is good and harvest is coming in bigger and they will disappear as they always do when the price of coffee falls and the farmers who danced with them in the past will not have a partner in the future. Hopefully the coffee farmers will wise up and see that a long term relationship with the cooperatives is better than a one night stand with the multinationals.
FYI: one lb. of coffee is equal to 60-70 6oz. cups of coffee.
Enjoy your coffee and remember that the best coffee is fresh roasted coffee.