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Building New Specialty Coffee Benchmarks To Secure Better Prices And Supplies


Buyers and sellers of specialty coffee, increasingly worried about future supplies of high quality beans, are finding new ways to price their coffee after benchmark U.S. futures hit a 13-year-low in late 2018.

Specialty coffees are usually priced at a premium to the benchmark, leaving specialty growers vulnerable to volatility in futures. And in the rare cases when specialty prices are not directly linked to futures, contracts are negotiated privately, so can be opaque and subject to the whims of producers or traders.

The Transparent Trade Coffee (TTC) platform, the brainchild of an Atlanta, Georgia, academic, is looking to change that by establishing benchmarks for specialty coffees. By creating new price reference points, the system insulates farmers from persistently low futures prices, eroding the link between specialty prices and futures, its developers say.

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