May was full of events within the coffee industry – and Mercanta is grateful to all our producers and partners throughout the world.
Here at Mercanta, our financial year concludes in May and we have been reflecting on this past year that has been full of tumultuous events, lockdowns, and a significant change in coffee sales. We are happy to say that we have prospered and will continue to support our many producers within the Coffee Belt.
In other news, the Colombia situation seems to have been underestimated by the market, and it is not often you can say that. One of our key suppliers moved zero coffee from farm to mill nor mill to port for a month, and our other exporting partner, Condor, is reporting similar issues. Colombia is the 3rd leading producer of coffee and thus this alteration will have significant repercussions. Stephen Hurst, Mercanta founder, believes that the market has not properly factored in the Colombia disruption, and that we will see shifts over the next few months and that we could see significant market upside reaction in the next few weeks, which at the time of writing the market had risen over 7.5% in two days.
We have our surge season of Centrals shipments (Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras) starting to arrive and underway from origin. The first Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador new crop containers unloaded in Europe and USA recently and are in high demand already. Honduras is returning to the UK after not being in the warehouse for a few years.
Mercanta is launching a new business line on 1 June that we are excited to announce. Mercanta Micro will be selling specialty beans in 20kg cartons (UK only to begin with). Based on our findings in the UK market over the rest of this calendar year, we will have a blueprint to expand this offering worldwide if certain local conditions are met, the key one being that Mercanta are our own fulfilment centre.
Mercanta have launched a partnership with forensic traceability firm Oritain , the innovative science is traceability via geo-mapping based on trace elements and isotopes. We aim to make our traceability claims cast iron and are already trialling another QR code tracking system for our coffees with the New Zealand firm RFider – products have already shipped and arrived with this QR tracking code.
We here at Mercanta hope to see many of you again soon. SCA New Orleans is on in Sept/Oct in a real-world setting, which we are eager to join and cup with all of you.
Reflecting on the past year has allowed Mercanta to step back and see how resilient this industry really is. In Hurst’s words, “our own results point to the proof that specialty coffee is now such an embedded product as to be able to survive, even thrive amidst events such as COVID.”
We are looking forward to many more years of coffee hunting and thank all of you who have continued to support us.