Europe’s Coffee Culture Is Clashing With Vague and Heavy-Handed Deforestation Rules, Shortage

The European Union is facing a coffee shortage in 2025 due to a lack of clarity around the implementation of deforestation regulations. The EU agreed to set mandatory rules for companies selling coffee, palm oil, and cocoa to ensure products do not come from deforested land. However, ICO Executive Director Vanúsia Nogueira says there are still many doubts and questions without answers yet. The rules entered into force at the end of June and most companies will have until the end of 2024 to comply with the measures, which require sophisticated tracking systems and will be enforced using the threat of fines. Critics argue that the regulations will penalize millions of smaller farmers from Asia to Africa. The EU is the world’s biggest importer of beans, and coffee producers in Africa and Central America could be most vulnerable to the deforestation regulations. Importers must collect data identifying the plots of land where commodities are grown, which will be checked off against historical land-use information. The Indonesian Palm Oil Association and Vietnamese coffee exporter Simexco Dak Lak have expressed concerns about the rules, stating that they are not clear at all.

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