Aussie coffee growers are facing a steep price hike as a growing number of growers are looking for alternatives to the Australian coffee bean.
The coffee industry has been hit by a severe downturn in the commodity, which has been the subject of heavy lobbying from coffee giants.
This year, coffee growers in Australia are expected to face a cost hike of nearly $1,000 per pound.
And while the increase is just 0.5 per cent, it is already taking a heavy toll on farmers, with growers saying they have to pay up to $US3,000 a day to keep their fields watered.
Coffee farmer and coffee farmer Mark Stenby said he was worried that prices were going up, but that his business had been growing for years.
“We’re seeing the market shift from a coffee bean to a coffee leaf, which is the basis of our coffee,” he said.
“So if we get to a point where the price of a coffee is going to go up, it will impact us and our ability to grow and to pay people.”
Mr Stenor’s company, Stenar Coffee, is a small but growing coffee company that focuses on the commercial coffee market in the Pilbara.
It sells coffee from the Pilbaran-Bundaberg region, and is currently growing an average of 100,000kg of coffee a year.
The rise in coffee prices comes on top of the $US7.1 billion a year cost of importing coffee beans from the US.
“The impact of the price increase is really really significant for the farmers in terms of not only our costs but the costs of running the farm,” Mr Stenber said.
The impact is especially heavy for farmers in the rural areas of the Pilbarn-Broughton region, where farmers are forced to spend up to three times more than in the urban areas.
“I’m looking at a 30 per cent increase for the year,” Mr Whelan said.
But for farmers, the rise is not just a price hike, as there are fears that farmers may need to sell their coffee for cheaper.
“If we sell our coffee at $US4, it means that if you buy it at $4 per kilogram, you can buy it for less than $US6.
If you buy a kilogram of coffee at that price, it would be selling for $US5,” Mr Phelan warned.
The cost of coffee is increasing in Australia because of the country’s economic crisis, and coffee is one of the cheapest commodities for importing.
However, there are concerns that the price will rise even further once coffee prices recover.
“It’s going to have an impact on our supply chain,” Mr Plumb said.