Coffee shortages on the horizon? German coffee industry warns against EU directive

By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

From next year, consumers in the EU will face shortages and higher coffee prices due to an EU regulation that restricts sourcing for environmental reasons, according to the German coffee trade association Deutscher Kaffeeverband.

“There could be a shortage on the German and European markets. The prices of the coffee that can still be obtained at that time will rise significantly,” Lebensmittel Zeitung, a food trade magazine, quoted the coffee association’s concerns in Friday’s edition.

Under the EU regulation on deforestation-free supply chains, which came into force last year, companies will in future have to submit a due diligence declaration that they have not deforested or damaged forests for the production of their products after Dec. 13, 2020. Holger Preibisch, executive director of the German Coffee Association, called for the application of the EU regulation to be postponed in an article in Lebensmittel Zeitung.

However, the EU commission does not share the concerns of the Deutscher Kaffeeverband.

When asked by the German news agency dpa about the matter, the spokesperson in charge replied they are not aware of any facts that would lead them to conclude that the regulation would lead to an increase in food prices.

“The impact on raw material prices covered by the regulation is expected to be very limited,” according to the spokesperson.

Traditionally, Germany is Europe’s largest coffee importer, with its imports of over 1 million tons a year, equaling those of the next three largest importers — Italy, Belgium and Spain — combined.

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