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The Guardian recently produced a long article on the state of coffeearabicaBeans farming and the production of the vital arabica beans.

Ironically, coffee prices have never been higher, but in the case history used to develop The Guardian’s article, in Uganda, some farmers are seeing their incomes fall in, or because of, a rising market.

Despite strong demand for hot cups of the best coffee the coffee farmers around Mount Elgon in Uganda are seeing their incomes fall, as their inability to generate yield in the face of increasing disease and pests in the coffee crop.

The arabica beans grow best in 18 – 23 degrees Centigrade, but with climate change and the surge in pests, The Guardian argues that the area around Mount Elgon could cease production of beans completely in the next decade.

There are a number of ironies in a rising market.

Incomes and the potential to supply are faltering in the face of climate change and pests, despite liquidity in the market.

The Guardian article highlights attempts to turn hillsides around the world back into lush forests in order to help stabilise climate change. However, the return to tropical forests does not, given that arabica grows in specific narrow band climatic conditions, totally assure the future of the market.

The heaviest irony of all is that our ability to process and distribute our product to the end user has never been more sophisticated; but what The Guardian does not analyse is the old politics of cash crop reliance.

If climate change persists the better, more rational human development opportunity, might be to explore other tropical leaning crops to sustain communities.

A provocative thought for a company involved in selling coffee!

You can read the full article from the economic section of The Guardian here.

The Caffe Carino Team

roastedCoffeeBeansIn what might turn out to be a regular in a series of posts on the culture of coffee – we explore a little-talked about aspect of coffee production.

Why not take your holiday on a coffee plantation? All the benefits of superb, fresh local roast beans and magnificent views and exposure to different cultures. Perfect.

(It might even be a tax deductible expense if you are on a procurement research trip – but consult your accountant or professional advisor before booking, of course).

The world market for coffee plantation holidays is, by its very nature, a limited one. However, the origins of coffee production, linked to imperial expansion in the 19th Century affords plantation owners some great opportunities to boost their revenue by making improvements to their properties and maximising the visitor impact of the coffee bush’s need to grow at altitude.

Below are some plantations holiday venues that we think offer real appeal…and great coffee too!

losariCoffeePicThe Losari Coffee Plantation – Java, Indonesia

Although this spa and coffee plantation is currently under development until April 30th, 2011 a quick look at their website will show you both the quality of the surroundings, the landscape and the quality of visitor care offered.

moivaroCoffeePicMoivaro Lodges and Tented Camps

This Tanzanian estate in Africa offers another kind of coffee plantation experience.

Here the focus is on the diversity that the estate and landscape offer visitors, with a lesser focus on coffee that at Losari.

However, a quick look at the Moivaro website offers some great African estate experiences and the prices represent good value.

You can find a Coffee Plantation Lodge brochure for Moivaro here on Google Docs.

Paradisa Plantation Retreat

paradisoCoffeePicThis small estate is couched on the south west coast of India in the State of Kerala.

The landscape for the accommodation is outstanding, spread across plantations of organic coffee and spices. It is the forest, rivers and wildlife that make this plantation stand out for us.

That and the terraces available to have your morning coffee or the views over ballustrades for breakfast – fantastic.

If you have a great coffee destination for a holiday, or research trip, let us know at Caffe Carino and we’ll give you and the venue a mention.

The Caffe Carino team – too busy to holiday at the moment