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Coffee — and Guatemalan Migrants

From today’s issue of Numlock News by Walt Hickey…

Coffee as a commodity is inherently volatile, but the past ten years have been particularly bad for coffee farmers. Right now, coffee sells at $0.89 per pound, which is down from a peak of $2.20 per pound in 2015, a 60 percent drop that has devastated coffee farmers, who since 2017 have operated at a loss. Guatemala is a major producer of coffee, with 120,000 small-scale coffee farmers facing an increasingly desperate market situation, with the national coffee association estimating production costs per pound to be $1.93. This, in turn, is fueling the surge of migrants leaving Guatemala for better opportunities, so much so that the country is now the single largest source of migrants apprehended at the U.S. border.

Kevin Seiff, The Washington Post

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