From 1975 to 1977 the price of coffee more than doubled. High coffee prices were attributed to a freeze in Brazil in 1975 which decreased crop yields. “Coffee prices can’t go much higher because people won’t buy it,” said a grocer… You wanna bet? “Several store managers have noticed NO decrease in coffee sales.,” the article wrote just one paragraph later
Consumers got agitated and called for a boycott. That will show those greedy planters in Brazil, no doubt! Congress was called upon to get involved. The smarty-pants in DC will certainly try to pass legislation to stop the freeze from happening again. (Remind you of anything?)
Read the entire article here.
Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and no price controls were enacted. American consumers dodged a bullet as coffee prices dropped significantly over the next 20 years. But where do we find ourselves today? Coffee prices up 10% in 2022 alone. Attributed to a global freeze? Nope, well maybe soon given what’s happening in Australia right now, a very cold winter it seems.
However, while weather is an unknown and can cause disruptions, what can cause more permanent disruptions is government action.
Yes war is the first thing that comes to mind with government action. During the Civil War “”the shortage of coffee caused more actual discomfort among the people at large than did any other (shortage).”
In the aftermath of World War 2 in Europe..”one of the shortages that made itself most immediately felt was of coffee..”
During the Great Depression Americans were still drinking coffee.
“While the Great Depression was raging in the 1930’s, people stretched a dollar to keep coffee in their homes. Soup kitchens sprang up in neighborhoods to aid unemployed workers in need of food and drink. These soup kitchens served free coffee and doughnuts and the pairing these two items became another American tradition. In the wake of World War II, the U.S. Government began to regulate coffee consumption among Americans at home so that soldiers abroad would always have their cups-of-joe. By 1942, there was a nationwide coffee rationing effort in full force. For every five weeks, Americans were allowed only one pound of coffee.”
Oh, notice rationing during World War 2? Think that can’t come again? Well, let’s consider how coffee finds its way to your cup. It’s not grown locally. It’s grown in Africa and Latin America. How does it actually arrive in the US to be roasted? Ships and trucks. How are ships and trucks run? With fuel. What’s the cost of fuel nowadays? Here is the owner of a small trucking company in the US:
“I own a small trucking company, and this is what the fuel crisis is doing to our country… Today I filled up my truck to deliver products that help keep our country fed. When I filled up my truck, it cost me $1,149.50. This is ONE truck, for ONE day of fuel. I own three. So for one day of operation, it’s costing me $3,448.50. (Yes, we use a full tank of fuel every single day, sometimes more than 1 tank per day).My trucks generally run 5-6 days a week, so we’ll just estimate on the low side and say five. That’s $17,242.50. Last week was over $20k for ONE week, that I have to pay out of my pocket to try and keep not only my children fed, but those of my employees, and our country.Mark my words, we are on a downhill slide to the worst recession our country has ever seen. Trucking companies are going under left and right. (Literally hundreds weekly.) If you’re not aware, what you’re wearing, what you’re eating, what you’re living in, what you’re driving, what you’re reading this on, was delivered by a truck.If something drastic doesn’t change in the next few weeks/months, I promise you, you’ll see empty shelves everywhere you look. You’ll see chaos as people fight for the basic necessities of everyday life. Food, medicine, etc…I pray that all of you have the ability, knowledge, and skills to fend for yourselves. Not only against those who would do you or your family harm, but to be able to find sustainable food and water.”
So what does this tell you? Well, some silly people over at Berkeley think “climate change” is what’s going to cause a coffee crisis. Of course we know it’s not actual “climate change” which will cause scarcity but a governmental “fix” of climate change, for instance, getting rid of fossil fuels and not going nuclear.
As I’ve said a million times, inflation is NOT caused by the “too much money” side of the Milton Friedman equation. It’s actually caused by “too few goods.” How do we get “too few goods”? By essentially banning the ONE THING that runs our economy, fossil fuels.
Folks, these people won’t stop just because you’re going to feel a bit of nagging pain. They’re going to keep hammering and hammering until you plead mercy. You want coffee do you? You will comply, and you will. I will too, eventually.
But at least give yourself a temporary reprieve by making sure you have some coffee in storage.