The London-based International Coffee Organization is telling reporters that efforts to promote coffee consumption in developing countries and the increase in robusta prices are likely to result in greater arabica demand.
The ICO wants to “decommoditize” coffee in growing countries in Africa and South America, according to Andrea Illy, chairman and chief executive officer of Trieste, Italy-based Illycaffe SpA who is also chairman of the ICO promotion and market development committee.
The ICO wants to support demand growth even with consumption exceeding production to get out of the cycle of high prices spurring production that lead to lower prices, Illy said. Coffee demand was 138 million bags in 2011 compared with production of 132.7 million bags, according to the ICO. Ten years ago, coffee was in surplus, Illy said.
The ICO currently represents 38 countries as exporting members and six countries as importing members.