Yemen Coffee Pricing

Coffee farming in Yemen embodies a saga of resilience against a backdrop of adversity. Nestled within its rugged terrain, where access to modern agricultural resources like irrigation and fertilizers remains a distant dream for many, Yemeni coffee production stands as a living testament to centuries-old traditions of heroic coffee cultivation.

Amidst a troubled internal economy, civil war and limited avenues for global market penetration, Yemeni coffee farmers confront the daunting task of securing buyers willing to offer fair prices for their produce. The scarcity of alternative livelihood opportunities amidst urban unrest has spurred a resurgence in rural life, where the promise of coffee cultivation offers a glimmer of hope amidst economic uncertainty.

In the intricate process of coffee production, a pivotal moment arises when the coffee bean is seperated from its cherry husk, shedding a significant portion of its total weight. While most coffee-producing regions may boast ratios as favorable as 6:1, with anything below 7:1 considered subpar, Yemen presents a starkly different scenario.

Characterized by its high altitudes and arid climate, Yemen’s coffee industry grapples with a low ratio of 10:1. This means that for every kilogram of red cherry harvested, a mere 100 grams of green coffee beans remain—a stark reminder of the challenges inherent in Yemeni coffee production. Moreover, this is merely the outset of a journey fraught with hurdles, as milling and transportation costs loom large on the horizon.

Within Yemen's internal market, prices for red cherry fluctuate between $0.40 to $0.90 per kilogram—a meager sum that hardly befits the toil invested by farmers. With a few trees yielding up to 50 kilograms of cherry annually, the bleak reality dawns upon producers whose yearly income from coffee cultivation may barely exceed $45. In a bid to confront this glaring disparity, exporters such as our partner, Sheba Coffee, have undertaken the endeavor of paying sustainable prices directly to producers.

In 2021, to Sheba paid an average price of $2.50 per kilogram for coffee cherries, encompassing coffee ranging from 80 to 92 points in quality—a gesture emblematic of their dedication to empowering farmers and nurturing agricultural prosperity.

However, the trials of Yemeni coffee extend far beyond the realm of production economics, permeating into the intricate web of post-processing logistics. As the coffee embarks on its journey from the mountains of Yemen to the seas, it encounters a litany of challenges exacerbated by geopolitical conflicts.

High fuel prices, dilapidated roadways, and incessant checkpoints lenghthen the voyage, transforming trips into harrowing odysseies. The arduous quest for a passage out of Yemen culminates in the daunting task of securing a willing shipper, with the few vessels willing to berth in Aden being confronted by exorbitant cargo insurance costs.

Despite these adversities, the indomitable spirit of Yemeni coffee perseveres, buoyed by the unwavering resolve of its custodians. Each cup of Yemeni coffee bears testimony to a saga of valor and determination—an elixir steeped in the rich tapestry of Yemen’s storied past and promising future.