As we previously wrote last week, Green Mountain has discontinued production of its Kona coffees. At CDC, we have just sold out of our last remaining supply of Green Mountain Kona Blend K-Cups.
While coffee prices in general have been skyrocketing — up over 100% year-to-date — Kona coffee has been particularly hard hit. Konas originate in Hawaii, which is undergoing a severe supply shock thanks to an uninvited guest. From the Associated Press:
A beetle smaller than a sesame seed is boring its way into Kona coffee beans and threatening the nation’s only coffee-growing region’s premiere crop.
More than 600 farmers in North Kona and South Kona, on the west side of Hawaii’s Big Island, are preparing to coat their fields with a suffocating fungus and are taking other measures to save their livelihoods and protect the world famous Kona coffee brand. While they’re confident they can limit the damage, they acknowledge they face a long fight against a beetle that will almost certainly reduce harvests and force costly chemical treatments and other work.
“It’s frightening to think we could lose our crop,” said Allan Frank, owner of Kona Cafe farm. “Things are more stressful for farmers.”
Frank said he was prepared for a small harvest last year, due to drought conditions, but also had to discard about 15 percent of the crop that was infested with the beetle.