AN AWFUL LOT OF COFFEE IN BRAZIL

Two bumper harvests in Brazil have flooded the international market with so much coffee that the price farmers can get has plummeted to below $1 a pound (BBC News, 11 July ). Since coffee is a cash crop that farmers sell instead of growing food they could actually eat, when the price hits the floor farmers will turn to other cash crops or else subsistence. Add in the number of farmers also going bust or abandoning farming, and you’re looking at a massive scaling back of future coffee production. Enjoy that cappuccino while you may, because in a few years’ time you might only be able to afford re-boiled dregs. How can a good harvest turn into a disaster? That’s capitalist ‘logic’ for you.

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