We all love coffee, right? We sit down in the morning to savor an eye-opening sip of this caffeine-laden savor (yes a bit exaggerated, but for those of us who can’t get moving in the morning without it, this is how we feel!). What many of us seem to forget however, is the process it took, from farming to roasting that allows us to enjoy our perfectly brewed single serve coffee pods or fresh drip coffee. Truth is, we should start taking note since many of the farmers producing the blends we love are fighting a battle of their own – coffee theft.
While many of us find it hard to imagine, think about the profit to be gained if someone simply took the coffee beans while never having to invest in the farming or take part in the harvesting – pure profit is the result and greed drives criminals to take advantage of those in every industry. Unfortunately, these are the unintended consequences of high prices.
Recently, this has been a growing problem for farmers in Guatemala and in some cases, it’s not just coffee that is being lost, it’s lives too. Even before we saw costs rise higher than ever, coffee theft was happening even though many of us may have never even heard of this farmers’ plight. It’s common for harvested beans to be locked and security guards to roam the farmlands making sure none of these thieves are on the property. Now, as costs soar, many of these security measures are simply not enough.
This is also a growing problem for Ethiopian farmers as well as those in Nairobi. Earlier this year, the area not only saw crops disappearing, but also beans in transit to become roasted and exported for the blends we love and coffee pods we covet. In addition, many other areas of the world which grow coffee have been affected by the past few years of bad weather and since Nairobi has been larger unaffected, their crops have increased in value.
In Kenya, the growing problem of coffee theft has even been pinpointed on one specific regulator. Many farmers are now questions the Coffee Board of Kenya since it hasn’t curbed rising cases of left.
It seems that these problems will unfortunately continue as coffee profits continue to rise, especially for those who have embraced the growing demand for coffee pods. There will always be those in search of making a quick buck and for many in coffee producing areas, stealing crops is one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this.
Next time you sit down with your beloved cup of coffee, take a minute to look at your coffee pods and think of exactly where that coffee came from and all the hard work and effort that went into providing you with coffee pods that help you get your daily dose of java.