New economic restrictions in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant would be another blow to the global coffee industry, according to Roberto Velez, president of Colombia’s national coffee federation (FNC).
Omicron was discovered in southern Africa and has been classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, prompting some countries to close their borders to foreigners or impose other restrictions in recent days.
“Once again, the fear is that countries will shut down and we will revert to a world where coffee is consumed exclusively at home,” Velez told Reuters.
Along with depressing demand, the pandemic has already resulted in a sharp increase in the cost of transporting beans to major consuming countries in North America and Europe, as a surge in demand for consumer goods and a lack of ships caused bottlenecks. continue reading
Colombia’s coffee production fell in 2021 as a result of heavy rains. However, the country has now caught up with coffee shipments, Velez said, after up to one million 60-kilogram bags were delayed from late April to mid June due to social unrest and widespread protests.
“We’re about to enter December, and all shipments and payments to exporters are current,” Velez said hours before the start of the National Coffee Growers Congress in Colombia’s capital Bogota.