A quick note on how the rising costs of logistics and green coffee has affected our bottom line.
Predicting where coffee prices will land has been a bit of a moving target. On average, the prices we’ve paid for coffees this year have gone up by 20-30%. A big part of this steep increase is the bullish coffee market we’ve operated in for much of the year. And like everyone else, we’re paying more to ship coffee than ever before.
The cost to move a container of coffee has more than tripled in some cases (seriously, $3,000 in 2021 is $11,000 in 2022 in some origins!). In addition, the Oakland Port has been basically non-functional, which has meant shipping coffee to Houston, New Jersey, New York…anywhere but here! These indirect routes aren’t just a hassle, they’re incredibly expensive too. But there’s not much we can do about it. This is the world we all live in right now, and we’ve had to adapt like everyone else.
Part of us adapting to these shifts has meant raising prices on some of our sample sets and blends, products that have had static prices for a very long time. We held off as long as we could, but had to make some small adjustments in order to keep up with the current situation. We don’t take price changes lightly, and have done our best to stick to a structure that works for us, and you. We never price coffees on a differential basis that fluctuates in real time with market prices like larger coffee importers.
The silver lining for coffee producers in all of this is they are generally receiving record prices for their coffee. Sure, their cost of production has increased, so some of that margin is absorbed. But we’ve seen first hand the effect high prices have had in the current supplier’s market, most recently on our Sumatra trip where coffee cherry prices have nearly doubled, and have had a big impact on growing communities.
The winds are starting to shift, and for the first time in almost a year, we are landing coffee in Oakland. Hopefully the situation at the port continues to improve, and we can get back to moving coffee on more direct routes with a destination close to home.
It’s been quite a year, that’s for sure, and we appreciate you sticking with us through it all.
From all of us at Sweet Maria’s, thank you for your continued support!