For most of us, our morning starts with a nice cup of coffee whether it is at a local stall nearby, a Starbucks franchise or just homemade Nescafe, but the story behind any coffee product is a fascinating one indeed. From the harvesting of coffee beans to distribution of coffee packets, the entire process is like a complete journey of something that is a really important part of our daily lives. In order to understand this journey, we need to first understand what a Supply Chain actually is.
Supply Chain is an integrated network between the supplier, distributors, and intermediaries all the way to the final consumer. The length of a supply chain depends upon a number of factors, one of them being the product itself.
As for Coffee, its Supply Chain consists of several parts which have been summarized as follows.
A Brief Summary of Supply Chain of Coffee
Planting- Coffee Seeds are best suited to grow in a humid climate with a temperature of around 23 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius. They are generally planted in a large sheet format with shaded setup to prevent excess sunlight.
It takes about 3-4 years for the coffee seed to ripen into a cherry red fruit. These fruits can be picked by hands or machines depending on the firm.
The fruits are further processed by drying them under the sun or by a machine after removing their pulps. After this stage the beans are exported to the desired parties.
The parchment layer of the bean is removed by machines and then further sorted in three sub steps Hulling, Polishing and Sorting.
These Beans that come out of the Milling process are known as green coffee, these have a higher price than the beans that are exported after the Processing stage.
Different variants require different tastes and the sorting of the beans after being tasted repeatedly are done on the basis of required quantities. Because a bulk of the coffee beans is used in sampling, the planting scale is very large.
This is the process that transforms green coffee into the brown beans that we are familiar with, there are different methods and machines for roasting green coffee. This process is usually done at the selling place like starbucks as the roasted beans are better when served fresh.
Demand For Coffee in India
Although tea is the much preferred drink in India, the demand for coffee has been rising rapidly in both the rural and urban areas. With coffee chains like CCD, Starbucks and many more being set up all around India with coffee products available for almost every income class, the consumption is likely to rise by more than 2.5% heading into 2021. As of now, the average consumption of coffee per year in India is around 120000 tons.
Sustainable Supply Chain of Coffee
A Supply Chain is said to be sustainable if it is operated after taking necessary precautions and measures that prevent damage to the environment and the ecosystem.
A sustainable coffee market was established in 1988 under Fair Trade Certified after a sharp decline in the prices, several reforms were made to the existing supply chain and production of coffee.
Top Brands in India
It maybe one of the most popular brands in India, it is a main home stay in a lot of households because of its affordability and popularity. It is widely available through different variants and is the most well known to a casual consumer than any other brands.
Although not as popular as Nescafe, Bru has been in the Indian market for a long time and is still preferred by a lot of people.
Café Coffee Day is more popular as a place rather than the product, however it is still a go to place for a lot of working population especially in metro cities. It is a viable alternative to Starbucks.
Speaking of, Starbucks is the undoubtedly the most popular coffee chain in the global market. Although only affordable by the richer people in India it has a well established market with more volume in revenue than any other coffee chain.
The Future of Coffee Market in India
Considering the rapid rise of the consumption of coffee it may seem as if there are no challenges, but the picture is not as clear as it may seem.
Most of the coffee consuming population comprises of metro and urban population. Furthermore majority of the Indian population lives in rural and sub urban areas where tea is the preferred drink. Furthermore because of coffee being an acquired taste it will be really difficult to break into those markets.