The price of coffee on the commodities market is in dire straits. In mid-August, the price dipped below $1.00, and it only continues to drop. As of writing this, the price sits at $.9775, a 12-year low, with some saying it could dip as low as $.87 in the coming weeks. For many of us, the price is just a number; we aren’t in touch with the day-to-day of this side of the coffee business to understand what it all means beyond just sounding really, really bad. To help provide some perspective, we’ve compiled what experts are saying about the price of coffee on the commodities market and what it means for the future.

In an article for the SCA, Kim Elena Ionescu warns that current market conditions could pose a threat to the future of coffee on a par with that of climate change:

Coffee farmers and organizations representing farmers have been warning buyers for years that from a purely economic perspective – to say nothing of environmental and social pressures – coffee production is increasingly unattractive in all but a handful of places. I often hear (and I repeat) the prediction that climate change will cut the amount of land suitable for coffee production in half by 2050, but with market conditions like the ones we’re living in, I wonder if the sector might lose half of its farmers by 2030.

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) is calling on the national government and the global industry to “adopt urgent measures in favor of Colombian coffee growers and the 25 million families who make a living by producing coffee worldwide,” per an article in Vending Market Watch. It expresses in no uncertain terms who is to blame for the current crisis:

One cannot continue to allow actors foreign to the industry such as investment funds to be who, in an unbridled desire for profit, determine the price of such an important commodity that is the livelihood of 25 million producing families in the world.

And it’s not just Arabica that is feeling the squeeze. Robusta coffee has dropped to its lowest price since April of 2016.

The status of the current price of coffee on the commodities market is a complicated thing, but if you’re looking for a primer on what is driving the lowest price in a decade, this article is a good place to start.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Top image via Nasdaq

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