Donaldina is a coffee lover and freelance writer from Tanzania. Coffee runs deep in her family - tracing its roots to her grandmother’s running of their first coffee farm in the mid-70s. She enjoys spending her time writing and co-running her grandmother's small robusta coffee farm with her sister in northwest Tanzania during the summer seasons.
What Is The Price Of Green Coffee Beans?
Green coffee beans cost between $6 and $12 per pound. This estimates what coffee roasters typically pay coffee cooperatives that sell fair-trade coffee. This amount is presumed to cover what the cooperatives send to farmers, harvesters, other laborers, employees, and coffee bean processing, equipment, taxes, and associated administrative fees.
Below is a table estimate for green coffee sourced across different continents:
It’s important to note that green coffee from various countries will have slight variations. So, while this is an average estimate, it is not the exact cost. For example, coffee sourced from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Condo (DRC) will have slightly different price tags.
This is because while Tanzanian coffee is graded higher than Congolese coffee, DRC green coffee bean prices will be slightly more. This is because the country's poor infrastructure and increased administrative bureaucracies make coffee exports a headache.
It is also worth noting that green coffee bean prices are more than just prices – it tells you a lot about the supply chain. After all, we live in a global village and what a roaster does in New York can very quickly affect a peasant coffee farmer in Nicaragua.
So, paying for green coffee on the low end ($1 -2 per pound) may be an excellent red flag that the actual coffee farmer isn’t earning that much. It’s also a good indicator that you are buying coffee that is not fair trade.
The cost of green coffee can be an excellent indicator of whether or not you are buying fair trade and ethically sourced coffee. Therefore, a half a pound bag of green coffee beans costing $7 to 8 should be familiar to you. A bag priced at this amount is a good indicator that the farmer receives a fair amount of profit.
But, this alone may not be enough. You can also look for other indicators, such as certifications for organic, fair trade, and environmentally friendly sourced coffee for every green coffee you purchase.
Costs Associated with The Price of Green Coffee Beans
Several small costs determine how much green coffee is priced per pound. As mentioned above, green coffee beans sold through cooperatives are usually fair trade and consider the general expenses. These include the cost of the bean itself (set by the cooperative and related authorities) and what is paid to the farmer (farmer’s earnings and labor wages).
The farmer also processes the coffee cherries to dry and prepare for transport after harvest – these fees are added. You must also consider the cooperative costs (employees and others), government taxes and administrative fees, and equipment.
However, until the coffee reaches a roaster or vendor’s shelf, it goes through a pretty extensive supply chain. You have to think of its journey from the cooperative to the retailer. The coffee goes between different handlers during this path, increasing its costs further.
This also explains why a meager coffee roaster or retailer price would be a giant flag. Only the suppliers on the supply chair near retailers would be the ones that benefit the most rather than the farmer that planted and harvested the coffee!
Here are some of the essential additional costs;
Transportation costs include travel from the cooperative to the country of destination. This covers a lot of components, including ground travel, shipping and customs fees, warehouse storage in between travel, and even paid profits of the importer.
When it comes to storage, remember coffee has to be set in ideal conditions, which, in turn, also raises the cost. You should expect about $0.5 to 0.75 to be factored into each pound of coffee imported.
The retailer or roastery will also package the green coffee. So, you have to factor in these costs as well.
Ultimately, coffee in North America comes from foreign countries that use foreign currency. So, there must be at least one instance of currency exchange throughout the supply chain. This also contributes to the prices of green coffee.