The Coffee Roaster Association, which represents about 15,000 coffee roasting companies, has issued a warning about the potential for price spikes if the federal government doesn’t set a price on coffee beans.
The association’s president, Robert Schoenberg, told Axios that it’s the first time the group has issued such a statement.
The association is worried about a possible uptick in coffee prices because of the impending deadline for setting a minimum price for coffee beans, which is expected to be reached at the end of April.
The group also worries about a lack of clarity about what the federal price will be.
The government is expected on March 15 to set a minimum of $1.75 per cup for coffee.
The price could rise further depending on the results of a study of the impact of carbon dioxide emissions and other climate change-related factors, Schoen, a former investment banker, told the news service.
If the federal minimum price doesn’t change, there could be a spike in coffee sales and an increase in prices for customers who prefer to buy more coffee.
“If you look at the impact on consumers, it could be devastating,” he said.
“If you compare the impact to what is already a pretty severe drought, we are looking at a $2,500 impact.
That’s a huge impact.”
Schoenberg said he thinks the coffee industry is “very worried about the impact that could come from a federal minimum on coffee prices.”
“If the minimum price goes up by $1 per cup, it will cause some havoc for consumers,” he told Axio.
“A lot of companies are already thinking about this, so it’s going to be very hard to keep the coffee price low.
We’re not seeing any significant price increases.”
Schönberg said the association’s warning doesn’t mean the industry is giving up on coffee.
Schoenburger’s concerns are echoed by the coffee giant’s global head of consumer affairs, Paul Smith.
He told the Financial Times the industry has not been shy about its concerns about how the minimum coffee price will impact customers and suppliers.
“We’re not going to stop saying that, but we don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be very vocal about it,” Smith told the newspaper.