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Coffee Price Rises for Small Roasters Imminent

September 13, 2021

Climate and COVID-19 pressures have increased the cost of green coffee beans

Coffee roasters around the world have a significant problem. The cost of the green beans we import has soared this year, leaving us to grapple with whether our customers will tolerate higher prices.  We’ve all held out on passing on price increases for as long as we can, but now price increases are imminent.

Extreme frosts have damaged crops in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee exporter.  On top of pandemic-related shipping bottlenecks and political protests that have stalled exports from Colombia, this has pushed up the cost of beans by nearly 43 percent in 2021.

This is less of a problem for very large coffee roasters like Costa and Starbucks.  These giants buy their green beans well in advance and won’t have to deal with the price increases for up to a year, or more.  But many smaller roasters have already had to raise prices.  At Spiller & Tait, we buy coffee several months in advance and this has enabled us to wait months before passing on our green bean cost increases to customers.  

Back in June 2020 we explored the impact of COVID-19 on coffee prices.  Since then we’ve raised our prices once in response to these pressures, and now we are poised to raise our prices again.  We’ve waited as long as possible, out of concern for alienating some customers.  But now Spiller & Tait coffee prices must increase.  From 27th September we will be raising the prices of our coffee on our website and on Amazon.

The average price increase across our range of coffees will be around 7%.  Increases to specific coffees will vary, based mainly on where the green beans in a coffee have come from.  Coffees with Brazilian and Colombian beans will experience the highest price increases.  

These increases do make us nervous because one of the main tenets we operate on at Spiller & Tait is being able to make specialty coffee affordable.  In addition to buying forward our green beans to secure lower prices, we have also sought to reduce our other costs so as to delay having to pass on the bean price increases to customers.  This process will continue and we will next be turning our attention to our packaging and labels, looking for ways to reduce these costs while increasing the sustainability credentials of our packaging.  

So, please rest assured we will be doing all we can to protect Spiller & Tait customers as much as possible from future green bean price increases, which are expected as a result of climate change impacts on growing regions and ongoing COVID-19 related supply chain blockages.





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