Production and Marketing Systems

ID-77-54: Published: Oct 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 1977.

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Coffee is produced in 53 countries and territories and is vital to the economies of many underdeveloped countries that produce it. In 1976 its export value was more than $8 billion, second in value only to petroleum in international commodity trade. Over half of Colombia's and El Salvador's 1976 export earnings were from coffee.

The United States has joined the 1962, 1968, and 1976 International Coffee Agreements primarily to help stabilize prices and export income of the developing producing countries. Although fluctuations in the price of exported coffee appear to be in response to anticipated availability of coffee, the policies and procedures of exporting countries influence availability and create pressures on price. The use of minimum export prices, export taxes, and other measures has occasionally limited the availability of a country's coffee supply to the world market. The Department of State has primary responsibility for formulating U.S. policy on coffee and coffee-exporting countries. It represents the United States in the International Coffee Organization which administers the International Coffee Agreement. The Departments of Agriculture and Commerce are responsible for monitoring the coffee commodity situation by collecting data and information on coffee production and marketing. Although some gaps and weaknesses exist, data and information collected and compiled by the Government are sufficient to analyze current supply and demand.

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