Rust resistant variety in Honduras succumbs to pest.

Leaf rust resistant variety in Honduras succumbs to pest


Leaf rustWorld Coffee Research has confirmed that a coffee variety in Honduras, widely planted across the country because of its resistance to coffee leaf rust, is no longer resistant to the disease.

The variety, Lempira, makes up a significant portion of Honduran coffee production and has been widely planted since an epidemic of leaf rust hit Central America beginning in 2012. A delegation of exports has informed the minister of agriculture of Honduras of the new development.

The Honduran national coffee institute, Instituto Hondureño del Café (IHCAFE) received reports of rust infections on Lempira plants in January 2017.

One early hypothesis was that the plants thought to be Lempira were in fact another, susceptible, variety.

World Coffee was informed and offered to conduct DNA fingerprinting to confirm the variety of the plants. Samples of leaves were collected from two locations – a heavily infected farm in the eastern part of the country, as well as “mother” plants for the Lempira variety maintained by IHCAFE. The tests were positive, confirming that Lempira is indeed now susceptible to rust.

According to IHCAFE, as of April 2017, the incidence level of rust nationally was only 6 per cent (below the level of economic damage). However, 18 per cent of Lempira farms surveyed in March had an incidence level higher than 10 per cent.

IHCAFE is alerting farmers of the possible development of a severe attack once the rains are established.

There are two possibilities to explain why Lempira is showing vulnerability to rust.

One is that a known rust race traditionally present in Honduras may have mutated and overcome Lempira’s resistance. It is also possible that a race of rust not previously present in the country has moved into the region.

Researchers and breeders have been concerned for years about both possible scenairos emerging in Central America.

It is well known that there are dozens of rust races that affect coffee globally, only a small number of which have presented significant production challenges to coffee production in Central America. Historically, the predominant races in Central America have been races I and II. It’s possible that a race of rust for which Lempira was never resistant has now moved into the region.

There is no rust-resistant variety that is resistant to all races of rust.

Samples of rust spores collected at infected sites have been sent to a research center in Portugal for identification, but results are not expected until August 2017.

World Coffee Research is checking sites in its 24-country International Multilocation Variety Trial to determine if Lempira is affected in countries other than Honduras. The global trial was established in 2014 in part as a monitoring system for the movement of diseases and pests in coffee production zones around the world.  Prior to the establishment of the program, there was no global monitoring system for coffee disease and pest movement.

Since its inception in 2012, World Coffee Research has established numerous programs to address the fragile nature of resistance to coffee leaf rust in the region—including a regional breeding program that includes the creation of new interspecific hybrids, guidance for coffee technicians and farmers for comprehensive agronomic approaches for the management of rust, a program to ensure the quality and genetic purity of seeds and seedlings sold to farmers, and a global effort to safeguard coffee genetic resources that breeders will need to tap to ensure greater genetic diversity for the crop.

At the end of May, World Coffee Research will convene with experts from across the region, immediately preceding the World Coffee Science Summit in San Salvador, to design a regional and global action plan.

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How Ethiopia’s new policies can impact worldwide specialty premiums

Ethiopia is the world’s fifth largest coffee producer, however its market structure has resulted in the vast majority of coffee was  mixed before  auctioning at the  Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.  As a result  farmers paid little attention to improving the standard of their crop as  its origin was untraceable. At the same  prices on the domestic market, bought outside the exchange, were  exceeding export prices.

Now the government has overhauled the way it markets coffee in a bid to increase export earnings, encourage farmers to produce more high-quality beans  and clamp down on the domestic black market.

Government reforms are designed to  improve traceability of beans and stimulate higher quality production.  Now all coffee will be kept separate until it is auctioned, enabling full traceability and overseas companies will be allowed to plant coffee and export it directly.  As the average price is now split between high grade and low grade lots, farmers are expected to focus on quality, with higher incomes resulting on increasing yields.

For the world specialty coffee market, always facing the stress of continuous demand growth,  the expected increased supply from one of the world’s premier producers, is very good news, and can impact the quality premium for coffees worldwide if you take into account that we are talking about millions of bags.



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Farmed in Costa Rica, online sales in the US

     Connecting Consumers and Roasters to Costa Rica
  • Howard Bryman | May 15, 2017Hacienda Miramonte in Costa Rica. All images courtesy of Willows Coffee.

Hacienda Miramonte in Costa Rica. All images courtesy of Willows Coffee.

A new farm-to-bag retail coffee company has started up in Minnesota called Willows Coffee, led by the fifth generation of a Costa Rican coffee farming family.

Viviana Gurdian, whose great-great-grandmother planted the first coffee trees on Hacienda Miramonte in Naranjo-Alajuela, Costa Rica, a century ago, moved to Minnesota from Panama about three years ago for work. From the United States, she continued making inroads with importers and helping to facilitate certifications for the farm, which at this point include Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, and Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices. Yet as it became too costly to continue traveling back to Costa Rica to help her father directly on the farm every fall, she set out to find more ways to support the farm from afar.

Hacienda Miramonte drying

In November of 2016, Gurdian established the Willows brand, roasting and selling coffee exclusively from Hacienda Miramonte directly to consumers via an online store.

“I wanted to be involved in the coffee. It’s my passion, it’s what I love to do,” Gurdian told Daily Coffee News. “With this growth, I can start to close the circle, and help the farm put the brand out there, show people how we do things.”

Viviana Gurdian of Willows Coffee.

Viviana Gurdian of Willows Coffee.

Coffee Holding Co. is the importer that brings the coffee to the U.S., while the company buys and sells a portion itself to roasters around the country. Roasting for the Willows brand is handled through a toll-roasting arrangement by Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Zingerman’s Coffee, with iterations of the single-origin offering appearing as light, medium or dark roast.

In a press release celebrating the relationship between the farm and the roaster, Zingerman’s Coffee Managing Partner Steve Mangigian characterized the collaboration as representing a future of roaster-farmer collaborations in which both parties, along with consumers scoring great coffee, can benefit.

Ripe coffee at Hacienda Miramonte

Ripe coffee at Hacienda Miramonte

“I’ve been to scores of farms and many origins, but this was the most exciting,” he said. “Not only were we able to be involved when it was time to pick the cherry, we also cupped all the coffees that we selected. After evaluation, we went to the mill to oversee final sorting.”

As much as Gurdian hopes to sell coffee and generate revenue, spreading the message story behind the brand is of equal, if not greater, importance.

“I’m trying to be more than on the shelf. I want people to value what we do, I want people to understand that being a producer is really hard. To have a good cup of coffee in your hand, it took people to pick it bean by bean,” said Gurdian. “The majority of people don’t even know what a coffee tree looks like.”

Hacienda Miramonte 3

Her efforts to change this reality have included appearances and participation at festivals and events, promoting not only Hacienda Miramonte but the work of specialty coffee farmers in general. So far this year Willows Coffee has been present at such local events as the Woodbury Business and Community Expo and the Woodbury Festival of Nations, where Gurdian has conducted cuppings and done presentations on her family’s coffee, coffee farming and brewing in general, and the challenges faced by coffee producers.

Gurdian also engaged in a panel discussion at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle last month called “Farmer Perspective: Production Economic Complexities and Challenges.” She said that while she hopes to continue attending as many events as possible and providing as much info and transparency as she can both to consumers of Willows roasted coffee and to roasters that buy her family’s green coffee through Coffee Holding Co., she also aspires to open a Willows Coffee café within the next few years.

willows coffee

“If you go back 25 years, Costa Rica had so many good farms and a lot of coffee. Right now it’s just one third of that that remains. In our family, it started 100 years ago with my great-great-grandmother, a woman. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her, 100 years ago, to manage a coffee farm in Costa Rica, horseback riding and all that stuff,”  said Gurdian, chuckling at how far removed she is from that now, and yet serious about the responsibility before her. “I have to continue that heritage we received. I cannot give up.”


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Seeking Alpha: Coffee Prices Could Be About To Surge


Coffee prices have fallen sharply since late last year.

We think prices have bottomed and a potential deficit this year could lead prices to surge.

Stocks-to-use ratio is forecast to be 30%. The lowest level in almost a decade.

With consumption rising and production expected to fall, we think now is the time to go long with coffee.

What happened?

Coffee prices rallied strongly in 2016 on the back of rising consumption and concerns over falling inventories. By the end of the season many expected coffee to fall deep into deficit. But favorable weather conditions in leading export nations Brazil and Vietnam led many to forecast for a stronger-than-expected harvest in 2017. This, together with a stronger U.S. dollar, put an end to the rally and sent coffee prices plummeting.

But times are changing.

Unfortunately, the sigh of relief from coffee buyers at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Brands may prove to be short-lived after the coffee industry warned of volatile prices. The reason for this is the stocks-to-use ratio being forecast by leading rural bank Rabobank. The stock-to-use ratio indicates the level of carryover stock for a commodity as a percentage of the total use of the commodity. For 2017-18 Rabobank has forecast Arabica coffee’s stocks-to-use ratio to be 30%. This will be the lowest level since 2009-10 and means that any unfavorable weather conditions that impact production or harvests could have an “exacerbated price impact” according to Rabobank.

How did this happen?

A weaker Brazilian harvest in 2017-18 is largely behind Rabobank’s forecast. Like many, ourselves included, it expects the Brazilian harvest to underwhelm this year. Traditionally the country’s harvest cycles between good years and poor years, and all signs point to this being a poor harvest. Further dampening expectations are the rains in Indonesia. Strong rains are expected to reduce the output of the world’s fourth-biggest coffee exporter.

Sourced from Statista

So, with Brazilian and Indonesian output predicted to fall and global consumption tipped to increase, Rabobank expects there to be a world coffee production deficit of 2.8 million tonnes this year. A deficit of this magnitude will eat into the already depleting inventories, putting pressure on supplies.

What about in 2018-19?

It is worth noting that the 2018-19 Brazilian harvest is predicted to be a big one that could even things up a touch. But with the market currently pricing this in, in our opinion, we see limited downside risk to coffee prices and significant upside potential if unfavorable weather impacts Brazilian crops later this year. So overall, we feel going long with coffee at this point is a reasonably safe bet. Especially with prices down 25 percent in the last six months.

What we are doing.

While we don’t necessarily expect coffee prices to rebound in full this year, we do believe that there are significant gains ahead.

Should coffee fall into deficit this year as predicted, we expect Arabica to climb back up to circa $3.86 per kilo. For the ETN this would equate to a price level of approximately $20.50, roughly 12.5 percent higher than the current price. We think that this level of return offers investors a compelling risk/reward.




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Coffee Prices Stabilize

Coffee futures have finally found some stability following their recent sell-off. On Friday, robusta coffee futures inched higher after plunging almost 3.5% over the week on technical selling pressures. They were recently up 0.3%.

Robusta coffee futures experienced the sell-off despite strong fundamentals as money managers adjusted their positions ahead of the contract expiration. However; this readjustment resulted in some bearish technicals and position liquidations followed.

While the bearish technicals sent futures lower, a news release on Friday returned traders’ focus to the tight market fundamentals. On Friday, the Vietnamese government said that the country will export an estimated 604,000 tons (10.1 million 60 kg bags) of coffee in the first four months of 2017, down 8.8% from a year ago. A drought in Vietnam, a major robusta grower, has reduced the volume robusta beans available for sale.

Also limiting the losses was the fact that coffee producers were less willing to sell their robusta supplies due to the lower prices. This comes after dealers commented on the higher availability of beans just before robusta went through its sell-off. Also, money managers remained net long on coffee even though fund liquidating drove the sell-off. This indicates that long-term, they still expect prices to appreciate.

Meanwhile, data released by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) last Friday showed that global coffee exports fell 2% in March year-over-year. However; for the first six months of the 2016/17 season, which began on October 1, coffee exports were up 4.8% at 60.08 million bags.

Arabica coffee futures were also higher on Monday. Arabica coffee futures remained pressured by the expectations for an upcoming bumper crop, following recent higher-yield years. But, on Monday the coffee bean was getting a lift from some bullish technicals. Futures were recently up 1.1% at $1.380.

Leia Toovey


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Bullish Sentiment nears low

Coffee  has,  since November of 2016, lost nearly a third of its value.  At the same time the  long term trend in coffee remains down, as it has created a series of lower highs for years.

The Market Sentiment score ranges from 0 (most bearish) to 100 (most bullish), lower readings point, 25 or lower,  to a Panic market, while higher ones point to an euphoric (bubble) market.

Bullish sentiment toward coffee has declined along with the price over the past 6 months, to the 29% level.    In August 2016  the score ranged between 56 and 53%.

“The Art of Contrary Thinking” (1954) by Humphrey B. Neill concludes that “when everybody thinks alike, everybody is likely to be wrong.”

A market that sees such a low bullish consensus, if matched by a bottoming, stagnant, period is bound for a correction.

As point of comparison, the current sentiment level for the stock market is around 64, more than double coffee.



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World Bank says coffee prices to fall this year

Coffee, tea and cocoa prices could fall by more than six per cent this year due to greater supply, a report says. The World Bank report, however, also projects that agricultural raw materials production is expected to rise by four per cent.

According to the World Bank’s Commodity Markets Outlook, returns from the three beverages are forecast to decline this year “due to greater-than-expected supply.” Coffee prices have been rising over the past year but started to fall late last month.

Traders are now predicting that coffee will end up in surplus this year and not in deficit as had been expected previously.

The report provides detailed market analysis for major commodity groups, including energy, metals, agriculture, precious metals, and fertilisers.

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POLITICA Sistema de Gestión en Control y Seguridad



Sistema de Gestión en Control y Seguridad





Somos una empresa cien por ciento Costarricense que se dedica esencialmente a la exportación de café en grano oro de origen de Costa Rica. Desde su fundación y a través de todo el tiempo de operación de la empresa, hemos diseñado las distintas mezclas de café que nos ha permitido una mejora continua en las propiedades organolépticas de nuestro producto.


Estamos comprometidos con asegurar razonablemente, la integridad y calidad de nuestros procesos y productos; desde la compra de la materia prima, hasta la satisfacción final de nuestros clientes; protegiéndolos contra amenazas; tales como: narcotráfico; lavado de dinero, contrabando y terrorismo; por medio de la implementación de buenas prácticas y controles de seguridad.


El compromiso activo y preventivo de todos nuestros procesos, así como el mejoramiento continuo, garantizara que nuestros productos no sean objeto de alteración, daños o pérdidas.

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USDA: Stocks/Use Ratio the second lowest in more than 50 years.

World coffee supplies will end 2016-17 at among their tightest on record, as weak robusta bean output, sapped by the weakest Brazilian harvest in seven years, erodes the boost from a record arabica crop.

The US Department of Agriculture, in its first official estimates for world coffee market dynamics in 2016-17, forecast world stocks falling for a second successive year, this time by 3.9m bags, to close the season at 31.5m bags.

Inventories at that level would be the lowest since 2011-12 and – when compared with demand to calculate the “stocks-to-use” ratio – at 20.9% represent the second lowest reading on records going back more than 50 years.

The stocks-to-use ratio – in measuring the availability of inventories – gives an indication of the extent to which buyers are likely to be forced to pay up for supplies, and is thus viewed as a key pricing metric.

‘Spread of coffee rust’

The expectation of a drop in stocks comes despite the prospect of record world harvest of arabica beans in 2016-17, seen rising by nearly 7.8m bags to 94.1m bags, led by a jump in output in top grower Brazil.

“Brazil’s arabica production is forecast to jump 7.8m bags to a record 43.9m bags as yields improve,” the USDA said.

“Good blossoming between September and November was followed by ideal weather during the fruit-set and fruit development period in Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, two regions that account for about 80% of [domestic] output.”

In Honduras, the world’s fourth-ranked arabica bean producer, “rust-resistant trees from recently renovated land are expected to propel output to a record 6.1m bags”, up 400,000 bags year on year.

However, a 300,000-bag drop in output is expected in second-ranked Colombia, “due to expected heavy rains towards the end of 2016″, and a forecast doubling, to 10%, in land in the central coffee region infested by cherry borer insect pest.

The forecast inundations, which would be more likely should a La Nina weather pattern set in, “will likely affect” the mitaca crop, which is harvested between April and June, the USDA said, with the rains “disrupting the flowering process as well as creating conditions conducive to the spread of coffee rust”.

‘Severe drought’

World output of robusta beans, meanwhile, will drop by nearly 5.4m bags to a five-year low of 61.6m bags, with weaker production expected in all of the top-five producers – Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, India and Uganda.

Vietnamese output is seen dropping 2.0m bags to 27.3m bags after “high temperatures combined with dry growing conditions between January and April to weaken yields”, the USDA said.

Meanwhile in Brazil, robusta bean production is seen dropping by 1.2m bags to a seven-year low of 12.1m bags “due to above-average temperatures and prolonged dry spells in Espirito Santo, where the vast majority [of Brazilian robusta coffee] is grown.

“Water shortages continue to limit irrigation, a common practice in the state.”

Output in Indonesia, the third-ranked robusta growing country, was seen falling by 1.8m bags year on year to 10.0m bags, “due to severe drought throughout much of the archipelago.

“Dry weather disrupted the flowering and ripening stage of cherry formation and was most acutely felt in lowland areas of southern Sumatra and Java where approximately 75% of the robusta crop is grown.”

Export implications

The impact on trade will be a drop in exports of 3.0m bags to 109.9m bags, led by a 1.9m-bag “plunge” to 6.1m bags in Indonesian shipments.

“World exports are expected to slip from last year’s record primarily due to lower shipments from Indonesia, Vietnam, and Brazil.”

Brazil’s exports will ease for a second-successive year, by 720,000 bags to 32.0m bags.

The decline will help Brazilian coffee inventories – arabica and robusta combined – stage a small rebound of 265,000 bags to 2.53m bags, although remaining well short of the high of nearly 12m bags reached in 2013-14.

Vietnam’s stocks will see a particular decline, to 3.5m bags.

“Following two years of elevated inventories, ending stocks are expected to fall 2.2m bags,”  said the USDA, whose data are based in the main on October-to-September marketing years, but with a few countries factored in on an April-to-March or July-to-June basis.

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Rabo Bank, any frost damage was marginal

The frost scare in Brazil, which fuelled a rise in arabica coffee prices to a one-year high, was overdone, Rabobank said.

“We believe that if there was any frost damage at all, it is confined to some regions of Sao Paulo, and possibly in some valleys and corridors in the south of Minas and Parana that are known to be prone to frost,” the bank said.

“From what we hear, the frost should not have reached more than 2-3% of all arabica trees.”

However, the bank acknowledged that low temperatures remain a potential threat until early September.  Until mid-August, when the prospect of any late freeze should be in the weather outlook, “we should expect any lowering of temperatures to attract fund attention”.

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