TRADECOMEX is a global green coffee merchant. As an independent market leader in both Arabica and Robusta qualities, we build sustainable supply chains with our partners around the world.

We create opportunities for all by connecting supply and demand effectively, profitably and sustainably. The breadth and depth of our coverage of the global coffee markets give us extraordinary flexibility to provide clients with made-to-measure solutions at every stage, at any time and in any place. Solutions that focus on sustainable production methods and transparency throughout the value chain with the people who grow, handle and process coffee.

According to the International Coffee Organisation’s most recent Coffee Market Report, 10.86 million 60kg bags of coffee were exported around the world in the month of January 2022. The organisation expects the world’s coffee consumption to grow 3.3% to 170.3 million bags in 2021/22.

This highly popular commodity is grown in subtropical climates. Of the world’s coffee exports, 30% originates from Brazil. The coffee varieties that are most commonly traded are Arabica and Robusta, including green (unroasted) beans. Arabica beans make up most of the world’s coffee production (around 75%) and are farmed in Latin America and eastern Africa. Robusta coffee seeds (which contain more caffeine and have a more bitter flavour) are cultivated in tropical regions of Asia and Africa, typically at lower altitudes.

  1. 60 % of the world’s coffee comes from Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia.

  2. 70 % of the world’s coffee is consumed in the European Union, USA, Brazil, Japan and Canada.

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From a seedling, it takes three or four years before a young coffee tree bears fruit. Known as a coffee cherry, the fruit turns bright red when it is ready to be harvested. Coffee plantations in Brazil tend to be on flat land and so harvesting is nowadays mechanized. However, in most other coffee growing countries, plantations are on hills and harvesting is mainly by hand. Depending on the country and farming tradition, ripe coffee cherries are processed using a dry or wet method.

Dry processing

This is an age-old method that involves sun drying the coffee cherries on the farm. The mucilage, which is the sugary substance around the bean, ferments during drying and leaks flavor into the bean. When dry, the cherry skins are removed using a ‘hulling’ process.

Wet processing

Ripe coffee cherries are initially sorted, cleaned and mechanically pulped so that just the sugary mucilage is left on the bean. They are then placed in a fermentation tank where flavor from the mucilage seeps into the bean. After one or two days the beans are washed and dried. Each process results in dried beans known collectively as ‘parchment coffee’. They are hulled, graded, polished and hand sorted to ensure that only the best are sold into the global market. With processing complete, the beans are stored in jute or sisal bags, or bulked in lined containers, for shipping around the world. At this stage it is known as ‘green coffee’. Finally, the coffee is roasted and ground according to the intended use.

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages and the most widely traded tropical product. The coffee market is poised to grow due in part to increasing consumption in emerging economies and a stronger interest in specialty coffee in developed countries.

Widely grown throughout the tropics, coffee is an important export crop for many developing countries and also a major contributor to the livelihood of local farmers. Brazil and Vietnam grow the bulk of the world’s total output, whilst the European Union is the largest total importer followed by the United States.

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