Coffee in motion
New harvest, new prices
As announced earlier, we had to increase our prices. We would like to explain this step and to illustrate our critical perspective regarding the contexts.
The current increase in prices is primarily related to the new harvests' arrival and substantially improved raw coffee prices for small-scale farmers' cooperatives. Furthermore, the Euro's depreciation due to a prevailing European policy of low-interest rates has increased import costs considerably.
We have increased the purchase price of raw coffee by Zapatista coops from 98 to 145 Mexican Pesos (MXN) per kg. Additionally, we have donated a solidarity premium of 10 MXN per kg. Due to the Corona pandemic, climate change and ongoing attacks by paramilitary groups, unfortunately, there are many harvest failures, which we intend to alleviate a bit for the people in the affected communities.
Due to paramilitary attacks, small-scale farmers can work their fields only at night and are occasionally under assault. Coffee has been stolen and warehouses have been burned. Recently, the military invaded San Cristobal after heavily armed forces had occupied a sales building. Corrupt politicians let the paras do as they please, to secure zones of influence and to legitimate land grabs in indigenous communities. In our view, the military's invasion is by no means an improvement but another attack and evidence of a strategy of tension toward Zapatista communities' autonomy.
We are paying 3,15 USD/lb for organic raw coffee by women's coop Aprolma in Honduras and 3,20 – 3,30 USD/lb for organic raw coffee from Colombia, which is substantially exceeding the world market price of 2,40 USD per libra.
This development in raw coffee prices is the reason we have to pass on our increased purchase prices to you, our customers: 0,75 Euro per 250g on average. We are still attempting to supply coffee as cheap as possible, to prevent fairly and solidarily traded coffee from becoming a luxury item but to keep it affordable for everyone. To accommodate you at least a bit, we have established a new discount of 2% on orders surpassing 20kg of roasted coffee. Combined with our direct debit discount of another 2% which is facilitating work of our account staff, you can realise a total discount of 4%.
At the same time, we have increased our soli premium from 0,40 Euro to 0,50 Euro. Otherwise, the relative share of funding would decline as prices are soaring everywhere due to inflation. Café Libertad Kollektiv is close to social movements and coffee coops and direct solidarity is a focal point of our work. Therefore, we see it as correct and consistent to increase the funding share as well while we are at it.
In 2021, we were able to disburse about 100 000,- Euro funding, for instance supporting indigenous Zapatista communities, refugees at Europe's external borders, projects in urban districts worldwide, FLINT self-organisation, a queer climate project in Africa or sea rescue in the Mediterranean.
There are, however, additional reasons for increasing coffee prices. As global demand is soaring, speculation at stock exchanges and bets on future coffee prices are gaining momentum. As a consequence, speculative bubbles are emerging and profits are realised primarily as so-called paper coffee. Many small-scale farmers' existence is threatened as a result of severe weather effects and harvest failure due to climate change. This system favours big corporations in particular, which are dividing the market among themselves while small-scale farmers' coops face substantial difficulties to guarantee constant distribution of purchased quantities to their members and partners.
European policy of low-interest rates is constantly pumping money into financial markets and is reacting rather reluctantly to the dramatic consequences of money devaluation to poorer strata of the population. An increase in exports and positive external trade balances on the one hand and simultaneously increasing import prices on the other are resulting in the political continuation of colonial history. Consequently, in Europe itself as well as originating from it, a capitalist system is reinforced which is giving to the rich and taking from the poor.
Therefore, besides solidary trade, a radical critique of these conditions and an emancipatory practice in social movements is required. With your support, we will stay on the ball to reinforce the inter-connectivity of local and trans-national struggles.
Our understanding of the world is getting more and more complex. Still, in our view, the Zapatista idea of a world within which many worlds are possible is a silver lining against the dark outlook of capitalist necessities, wars and disconsolations. In global metropoles as well as in indigenous communities, no official politics are enhancing the climate, but all of us acting together in solidarity and rebellion.
Current price lists can be downloaded here as PDF.
Café Libertad Kollektiv