Proposing An Alternative Benchmark For Coffee Prices: The C-5

by | Sep 25, 2018

Key Insight

The C-5 (or the C-10) price would serve as an alternative benchmark, for planning and negotiation. It would be a voluntary benchmark – a reference point for value-chain actors. It would not serve as a minimum price, nor a fixed price.

There is an urgent need to fix the coffee market: to reduce price volatility and ensure that a fairer share of coffee revenue reaches farmers and farmworkers.

In a recent post, I made the point that the coffee market is unjust because farmers and farmworkers bare a disproportionate amount of risk and remain poor, while some coffee companies and traders have generated huge profits as the coffee industry has expanded rapidly over the past decades. In a follow-up post, I argued that the C-Price is extremely volatile, threatening the livelihoods and wellbeing of farmers and farmworkers, especially when prices fall below the cost of production.  There is nothing hypothetical about this analysis: extremely low prices will drive millions of farmers and farmworkers into extreme poverty this year.