21 Nov '12, 8pm
Yunnan: Coffee Crisis As Nescafe Bid Hits Five Year Low
Nestlé, along with the Chinese government and the United Nations Development Programme, helped jump-start coffee production in the area in the late 1980s. Yunnan’s first coffee growers, 19th-century European missionaries, found a suitable climate for their bitter juice, but little native interest in drinking it. Now Yunnan accounts for almost all the coffee grown in China. Other buyers have followed Nestlé in recent years, and demand has outstripped supply. Beans are sold at the global price, which last year briefly topped 40 yuan ($6.30) a kilo, and is now about 30 yuan. Three years ago, the price was only 16 yuan a kilo.