Constance Coffee Price Changes
We began Constance with a goal; to buy excellent green coffee and roast it in a way that we could share it with people.
The last two years has made for a few changes that have been varying degrees of mostly bad news, but before we get into the details, the backstory:
At the start of the pandemic, frost in Minas Gerais (a state in Southeastern Brazil, renowned for coffee production) wiped out almost the entire crop in the region.
Following this short stock in Brazil, the C-market price rose. This meant that growers could for the first time in a decade, sell coffee at a profit. For most of the 20-teens, the C-market has been held low due to trade forces on the stock exchange, rather than market pressures inside each producing country.
In this case, many farmers were reneging on contracts that they’d made to supply coffee at the C-market price at the time of the contract, and while this had huge impacts in the commodity supply chain, in almost all those cases, the contract price was below their cost of production. Any small business not making even slim profits is at risk when any negative events occur, and this change in focus has been positive, hopefully these higher prices are sustained for growers supplying lower quality coffees.
Colombia followed suit in a very significant fashion, Sprudge had a good write up about that here.
The specialty and commodity markets usually operate somewhat separately, but over the last two years, on top of the C-market price doubling, shipping containers have been in short supply, and with AUD/USD rates working against us, this meant that any and all specialty coffee at lower price points was being snapped up by any commercial roasters.
For us, the real impacts have been less immediate, and our cost base has not changed as significantly as double; by purchasing higher grade coffees with more vertically integrated supply chains (where the base cost was higher), we’ve maintained those relationships, and not suffered as significant price rises. Our main cost increases have been due to shipping and foreign exchange.
However, the following major changes have struck:
- The unfortunate ending of our connection to San Rafael, one of our most reliable and delicious blending coffees. Our friends who import that coffee at First Crop are unable to get it out of Colombia. We are assessing longer term relationship coffees to replace it, but will use the delicious Popayan Munchique for now.
- Unrelated specifically to pandemic issues, but the San Cristobal from Nayarit state will likely not be seen in Australia for the meanwhile, in part due to repeat years of low yield following weather patterns shifting, and staffing issues in the co-op.
- It will be some time before we see fresh Bela Epoca, though the stock we have currently will replace the San Cristobal in the Strider blend until we find the next longer term coffee.
Finally, our incoming landed coffee has cost 20-30% more so far this year, meaning that we have adjusted the price on our blends by $2/kg, or 50¢/250g, and for our single origin program, many single origin coffees that were in the $56 price bracket will now move up to the $59 bracket, the first two coffees here are the Renacimiento and El Jardin.
We feel that the coffees we purchase are appropriately matched to their price point, we thank you for your support so far, hope you understand the adjustments we have made, and enjoy our coffee as much as we do.