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Coffee: Who grows, drinks and pays the most?

April 30, 2018

Source: By Lora Jones

Business reporter, BBC News

 

How do you like your coffee in the morning? From an Italian espresso to the Vietnamese ca phe trung, made with egg yolks and condensed milk, a lot depends on where you wake up.

More people are drinking more coffee than ever before, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. So which nation produces the most beans needed for our caffeine fix? Who drinks the most coffee, and where do people buy it?

 

1. Top coffee producers
Coffee is one of the world's most popular drinks, and it is produced in more than 50 countries.

 

Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer. In 2017-18, the country produced more than 51 million bags of beans. The world's second largest producer is Vietnam.

India, which is also one of the world's largest tea producers, produced 5.8 million 60 kg bags of coffee in 2017-18, with neighbouring Sri Lanka producing 33,000.

Some much smaller countries are key producers. Honduras, for example, produced more than 8.3 million bags of coffee last year, and it is one of the country's top exports.

 

According to the Fairtrade Foundation, more than 125 million people around the world depend on coffee for their livelihoods, with around 25 million smallholder farms producing 80% of the world's coffee.

Fairtrade coffee means consumers can trace their coffee beans to find out exactly where they came from, and farmers are guaranteed a minimum price for their coffee. Fairtrade coffee farmers produce an estimated 560,900 tonnes of coffee a year - that's enough to make more than 58.9 billion single espressos.

Some academics argue that the scheme is expensive for farmers to join, and that could offset potential benefits. Encouraging coffee production with a cash incentive could also lead to too much coffee being produced, driving down prices.

However, Louisa Cox, director of impact at the Fairtrade Foundation, said that being fairtrade-certified also means that farmers can access training, safety equipment and protection.

Although there are more than 100 different coffee species, the most widely produced and sold are Arabica and Robusta.

2. Who drinks the most?
When it comes to coffee consumption, only two nations top more than 10kg per person per year - Finland and Sweden, according to statistics from the International Coffee Organization.

The Finnish drink the most coffee every year, at 12.5kg each.

Nordic countries also make up the rest of the top five, perhaps needing a cup to get through the cold days.