BY CHRONICLE STAFF
When you buy a tall coffee at Starbucks these days chances are you are drinking coffee from Guatemala. The Central American country is the top provider of coffee to the U.S. coffee chain, Starbucks spokesman Andy Fouche says.
Starbucks last year bought 73 percent of its coffee in Latin America. Apart from Guatemala, Starbucks buys coffee from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.
The company's second-largest provider of coffee is Costa Rica, followed by Indonesia and Colombia. Starbucks also buys coffee from various African countries, including Kenya.
Fouce declined to give details on the value of the coffee bought. "We...do not release numbers on total number by region or dollar figures," he says.
Last year, Guatemala exported coffee worth a total of $463.5 million last year, virtually unchanged from 2005, according to the country's central bank. Coffee is the second-largest export product after textiles.
During the last coffee season, Guatemala exported a total of 3.35 million 60-kilo bags, a 2.8 percent decline from the 2004/05 season, according to the Guatemalan coffee federation Anacafe. This season, though, exports should reach 3.60 million, the federation estimates. The value should remain flat again, though, and reach $463.4 million, Anacafe says.
The United States is by far the top destination, accounting for nearly half of the exports in the 2005/06 season. Other leading markets include Japan, Germany and Canada.
Guatemala is now the world's fifth-largest coffee exporter, according to International Coffee Organisation data for the first eight months of the 2006/07 season. Brazil is the top coffee producer worldwide followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia, OIC data shows.
Guatemala exported 2.8 million 60-kilo bags in the period October 2006 to June this year, a 10.8 percent increase from the same period last year, Anacafe reports.