Uncertainty over deforestation rules could mean coffee shortage for Europe

The European Union is facing a possible shortage of coffee from 2025, the International Coffee Organization warned on Wednesday, blaming ambiguity around new European deforestation rules.

This spring, the EU approved a regulation aimed at preventing further forest degradation for the production of goods for the European market. Companies importing certain products, such as coffee, will have to comply with due diligence rules or face fines. These rules include sophisticated tracking systems for coffee plantations.

According to International Coffee Organization director Vanúsia Nogueira, there is a lot of uncertainty about the new regulations. They came into force in June and companies have until the end of 2024 to comply. 

“The EU may therefore not receive enough coffee from 2025 if there are no answers to implement the new regulations,” Nogueira said at an international conference in Vietnam. “These new rules will be our biggest challenge next year.” There are fears that smaller farmers in particular will find it difficult to meet the requirements. 

For some coffee farmers in Africa or Central America, Europe is by far their most important market, making them particularly vulnerable. European deforestation rules also apply to livestock, timber, palm oil, cocoa and soy, and derived products such as chocolate or furniture. 


Workers cut and collect coffee fruits on a plantation in Heredia, Costa Rica © PHOTO EZEQUIEL BECERRA / AFP

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