The main coffee import and consumption markets in Europe, North America, and Asia are in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Governments have implemented measures such as social distancing and quarantines. These have had a great effect on coffee shops, micro-roasters, restaurants, and other out-of-home outlets.

The current scenario has accelerated the trend towards online shopping for home consumption; however, the coffee market may also show a high level of innovation, marketing power and consumer loyalty to combat the crisis.

A recent publication by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on the world coffee sector. A decrease in consumption is in the forecast, but it highlights that the demand for coffee is not seriously affected by changes in consumer income due to COVID-19.

During the 2009 global economic crisis, coffee consumption remained quite resilient. However, the change was from consuming coffee outside the home to more categories for easy and practical consumption within households with accessible and innovative products for the consumer market.

International information resources are available at this time that allows exporters to stay informed on current COVID-19 issues as it relates to coffee, such as:

The International Coffee Organization (ICO), analyzes the effects.

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the impacts.

Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), pandemic-related events.

Coffee sector publications such as Coffee and Cocoa International (C&CI), Daily Coffee News, and Perfect Daily Grind also produce articles related to the crisis.

Implications for Costa Rica

According to INEC (national coffee institute) data, coffee activity currently benefits 38,804 producer families in eight regions of the country located in the Central Valley, Tres Ríos, Turrialba, Brunca, Guanacaste, Tarrazú, Orosi and Valle Occidental, which total 93,697 hectares, that represents 1.8% of the national territory.

Costa Rican coffee is recognized worldwide for its quality and exclusivity, Costa Rican coffee exports had a value of $ 276 million and represented 10% of the total exported in 2019, for the first quarter of 2020 there was an increase of 3% in exports, reaching $ 231 million, which placed it among the main exported products.

Given this scenario, the crisis may lead to more changes in the coffee sector, Costa Rican companies exporting this product are urged to stay informed in the different international and national media outlets that offer free advice of new trends and thus be at the forefront of the changes that the global crisis by COVID-19 demands.

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