The Challenges Facing the Kona Coffee Industry in 2023



At Buddha's Cup, we are dedicated to sourcing and roasting the finest Kona coffee beans. However, the Kona coffee industry is currently facing a number of setbacks, including two major droughts last year, coffee leaf rust fungus, and the coffee berry borer. These factors have resulted in a significant decline in production, with some farms experiencing up to a 90% reduction in crop yield.

As a result of the reduced production, the price of green coffee beans has risen to $26.50 per pound and is expected to continue climbing. Despite the increase in price, growers are still facing financial challenges due to decreased crop yield.

The weather patterns have also been unpredictable, causing the harvest to come in earlier than usual. In this article, we will discuss more about what these environmental setbacks will mean for the Kona coffee industry, as well as what you can expect moving forward.

The Perfect Storm: Drought, Disease and Pests Take a Toll on Production

The Kona coffee belt has been hit by double stressors from coffee leaf rust fungus and coffee berry borer, which thrive in moist environments. The high rainfall in the region, although higher than average, has not been beneficial for coffee plants as it has created an environment that is favorable to the growth of the fungus.

The coffee berry borer, a beetle that infests and destroys coffee cherries on the tree, has further decreased production. Additionally, the drought during the first and last flowering of the coffee has also had a significant impact on production. As mentioned previously, some farms have seen a 50% reduction in production over the last couple of years, and some have seen a 90% reduction, according to the president of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association.

Rising Prices and Challenges For Coffee Grower

Although the Hawaiian coffee crops have faced many hardships, we are hopeful that things will turn around for the better this year. Here at Buddha's Cup, we are actively working to overcome these challenges. Our farmers are taking every necessary

measure to protect their crops and maintain the high quality of our Kona brands. We are working on managing coffee leaf rust and wish for good weather in the coming year, which would allow us to grow a better crop in 2023.

We value the support of our customers and will continue to provide them with delicious Buddha’s Cup brands. If production rises, we hope that prices will drop in the coming year for our community. We are also here to support other Kona coffee farmers and their efforts to overcome these challenges. Together, we hope to weather this "perfect storm" and continue to produce and serve the best Kona coffee.