The National Coffee Association (NCA) in the US says it believes it is “imperative” that regulations governing North American cross-border trade in coffee, in all of its forms, are not altered as a result of the forthcoming NAFTA negotiations.
The NCA said wants to convey to all parties to the negotiations that maintenance of the status quo is in the best interests of the Canadian, Mexican, and US coffee industries, “our individual and collective economies, the millions of individuals who derive their livelihood from the coffee business, and consumers throughout North America.”
“The supply chain for coffee is global in nature, and complex. Mexico is an important supplier of coffee, a majority of which is imported into the US and Canada for processing – or manufacturing – in order for it to be sold to consumers, enjoyed as a beverage, or incorporated as an ingredient or flavour in other products,” said the NCA.
“Members of ANICAFE, representing the Mexican industry, the NCA and the Coffee Association of Canada (CAC) routinely conduct cross-border business, serving to import, export, ship, warehouse, and manufacture coffee with each other, or on behalf of one another,” it said.
“Furthermore, some members of the NCA and CAC are related to each other through corporate affiliations. Finally, there are retail customers for the products produced by our members which themselves are cross-border companies – retail companies serving hot coffee or selling packaged coffee.
“In addition, ancillary goods critical to our members’ businesses – such as brewers, dispensers, packaging films, ‘to go’ cups, paper products – frequently cross North American borders, as well as arrive as imports from other parts of the world.
“Any impact NAFTA renegotiation may have on trade in these ancillary items would also affect not only the coffee business, but other food and beverage industries as well,” said the NCA, noting that the coffee sector is a significant driver of economies in all three countries.
“Should renegotiation of NAFTA result in amending coffee’s duty-free status, the burden on the coffee industry would be immediate and depressive,” the NCA said, and the resulting cost increases would burden cross-border trade, disrupt commodities markets, put upward pressure on retail prices, impact farmers supplying these markets, and affect literally millions of consumers.