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Main policy areas


Tariff escalation

  • Tariffs on processed coffee are generally low for the EU, the US, and Japan. The EU, for instance, applies an average duty of 9 percent for higher levels of processed coffee. Other markets such as, India, and Ghana have a duty on instant coffee of 35 percent and 20 percent respectively;
  • Developing countries export mainly non-processed coffee. The largest amount of coffee is imported in its raw state, in the form of unroasted green coffee beans.


  • Generally low for developed countries, but high for developing nations.

Amber box

  • Coffee exporting countries have liberalized their coffee industry through the dismantling of national marketing boards. Prices are now determined by market forces.

Export subsidies

  • Not relevant

Export credits

  • Not relevant

State Trading Enterprises

  • Most state trading enterprises have made room for private exporting entities. The state has taken the role of a regulatory power, setting rules and regulations. For example, the government of in Côte d'Ivoire established in 2000 the ARCC (Coffee and Cocoa Regulatory Authority) to regulate the activities of the coffee sector.

Export restrictions and prohibitions

  • n.a.

Food security

  • During recent years, coffee prices have been the subject of severe fluctuations. In 1997, prices of Arabic coffee went up substantially then latter collapsed. More than any other cash crops from developing countries coffee prices exhibit high variability.

Food safety

  • Quite significant for the sector: contamination, toxic residues, quality of exported beans, use of molecular biology to improve coffee production, regulatory procedures at the processing level in developing countries, shipping and storage of coffee beans.

Rural development

  • Very critical as most of rural coffee beans producers rely on export earnings for their livelihood. For example, coffee is main source of income for farmers in Uganda. Three-quarters of the population earn money from coffee production export. Coffee earnings contribute to infrastructure development, roads, storage facilities, schools, hospitals, first-stage processing firms.

Geographical indications

  • Specialized coffee from Colombia (Milds), and Jamaica (Blue Mountain), do fetch premiums.

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