Coffee is a major crop in the world, with Arabica representing 70% of global production and robusta representing 30%. Both species are cultivated in the Amazon, with elite coffee varieties coming from arabica trees grown under shade at optimum altitudes. In the Andes, arabica is the predominant cultivar, with Colombia being the third largest producer. Peru is the largest producer of arabica in the Amazon, followed by Bolivia and Ecuador. Robusta coffee was once widely cultivated in Amazonian Ecuador but has been sporadically cultivated in lowland Peru and Chiquitania Bolivia.
In Peru, coffee is cultivated on small farms that also produce food crops and livestock, with over 85% of production originating on 150,000 family farms. Family labor is key to its success, as it allows small farmers to absorb price fluctuations but also limits their ability to expand production. Commercial farms cultivating larger extensions obtain better yields but are exposed to greater price risk from international markets.
The coffee industry in Brazil generates about 25% of global coffee production, with Arabica being the main crop. The Brazilian coffee industry generates about 25% of global coffee production, with Arabica being the main crop in Paraná, São Paolo, and Minas Gerais. Rondônia, Brazil, is the main producer of robusta varieties, contributing about $150 million annually in gross revenues.
The global coffee market has experienced significant changes over the last decade, with global demand for mass-market coffees increasing due to changes in consumer preferences in tea-drinking nations like China and increased consumption of elite coffees. Peru and other Andean countries are focusing on the elite coffee market, and many producers are adding value to their production by embracing certification and organic production paradigms.
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