Global coffee industry
Coffee is the second largest traded commodity (after oil) in the world. All coffee is grown in the global south of the world and is mostly consumed in the global north. Based on 2015 figures, the Netherlands had the highest per capita consumption of coffee.
With regard to market fundamentals, total coffee production increased from 133.99 million bags in 2010/11 to approximately 151.6 million bags in 2016/17. The origin of coffee can be traced back to 1000 AD to Ethiopia. Arab traders are thought to have brought it to North Africa, from where it spread to Asia and Europe. Coffee's spectacular rise as a commercial commodity started with large-scale plantations in Latin America in the late 18th century. By the 19th century, Brazil commanded more than 70 percent share of the world market. However not as dominant, Brazil remains the leading coffee producing country in the world today.
New consumption patterns have emerged with the growing importance of specialty, fair trade, organic and even 'bird-friendly' coffees. Coffee bar chains have spread dramatically, although the relative coffee content of the final consumption 'experience' in these outlets is extremely low. Coffee bar chains sell an ambience and a social positioning more than just 'good' coffee. The global coffee chain has gone through a 'latte revolution', where consumers can choose from hundreds of combinations of coffee variety, origin, brewing and grinding methods, flavoring, packaging and ambience. Retail coffee prices continue to rise and roasters are capturing increased profit margin while coffee farmers receive prices below the cost of production.