Brazil’s coffee farms were hit by a sudden, unexpected frost last week. This caused shock amongst the coffee producers and the price of the commodity fluctuated as there were reports that the 2020 harvest would be affected by this frost, but the reports were quickly deflated.
Reuters, Bloomberg, et al, were all focusing on the giant commodity players and the impact on investors. The small farmers were also affected, as they didn’t have enough resources to resist the sudden changes and they rely on every coffee tree to produce.
Jonas Ferraresso, an agronomist and coffee consultant confirmed that during his visit to Serra Negra, Brazil. Every farmer he spoke to, had suffered some sort of damage. He reports that he had received pictures and videos from many agronomists and farmers from various farms and regions. Almost all of them reported frost damage.
Jonas adds, “Even farms where the frost was not severe, the leaves were damaged by small fissures, which will increase the risk of the disease spreading in the near future.”
Further, he reports that there is a chance that next year’s crop might be affected, the farmers will have to wait until August for the first rains and then the loss can be evaluated. Although the crop this year won’t be harmed.
World Coffee Producers Forum, called a meeting of the industry leaders around the world to discuss the potential global coffee price crisis. But Ferraresso told that many of the medium and small coffee farmers were not present in the meeting mainly because they couldn’t afford the admission fee.
The farmers in Brazil, the smaller farmers, in fact, are doing calculations on how to save money and harvest in a way that costs less. So that they can keep their farms running till the next year.