We're in this Together

By Evan Howe

Me and Carl, pictured with Jose Jadir Losada of Osito (left) and Edilma Polania Bermeo and her family (she is the managing director of The Cooperativa Divino Niño

At the time of writing this post the world feels quite different than it did only a few months ago. Within the last few days the number of confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus in the United States has risen above 35,000 and thousands, perhaps millions, of individuals in the retail and hospitality industries have been laid off due to recent shutdowns and closures.

All stakeholders in the specialty coffee supply chain have felt the swift impact of the current Coronavirus outbreak and many in our industry are facing incredibly serious realities at present and deeply troubling uncertainties on the horizon. Consumers have lost access to many of the cafes that they frequent and support, thousands of baristas and other retail staff have been laid off, small business owners that operate retail spaces have had to close their doors, coffee roasteries have experienced dramatic reductions in orders, importers and exporters are navigating the complicated implications of their roaster clients’ reduced production volumes, and coffee producers are facing the possibility of not selling their current or upcoming harvest as more and more green coffee buyers feel the pinch of the present pandemic.