Kenya’s Speciality Coffee Growers Hit as Lockdowns Shut Global Coffee Shops
Like many speciality coffee growers, Kenyan exporter Jackson Kanampiu has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis as consumers are barred from the coffee shops that serve niche brews and opt for shop-bought offerings.
Kanampiu spent four years building a business in speciality coffees as the price of basic beans fell, only to see the cafes he supplies cancelling their orders due to coronavirus lockdowns.
“We have almost ground to zero,” said Nairobi-based Kanampiu to Reuters. “The corona has really affected us.”
Global consumers are still drinking coffee, but few are visiting cafes. Instead they are buying medium-quality supermarket beans to drink at home, foregoing high-end coffee shop offerings and spelling disaster for specialist suppliers.
Half of Kanampiu’s sales have disappeared as customers in China and the United States have cancelled orders from his company Eagle Crown Coffee since the pandemic hit.
It’s not just a problem in Kenya. Matthew Harrison, a buyer at speciality coffee sourcing company Trabocca, said global demand for speciality coffee has plummeted in recent weeks.
“We have clients in Asia who have reported 60% reductions in volumes in the first three months of the year,” Harrison said. “This is likely to be the case for Europe over the next few months.”
One prominent European speciality trader who declined to be named said the coronavirus had driven down speciality coffee demand in the United States and Europe by 40%.
Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.