Coffee has experienced wide price fluctuations. There is excess production capacity which tends to reduce prices progressively to the special disadvantage of the many countries highly dependent on coffee trade for their export earnings. Such countries have attempted to group together at various times to introduce a country-by-country export quotas and to restrict the total amount of coffee traded and maintain higher prices. Such agreements are often by-passed by black market trading as a result of pressure from importers. The situation is complicated by the influence of the related market for soluble coffee which may or may not be manufactured in the producing country prior to export.
Over 20 million people in 41 producing countries derive their income from the growing, processing, transportation and export of coffee. 15 developing countries earn from 30 to 80% of their foreign exchange from the export of coffee.
Climate change is threatening nearly 60 percent of wild coffee species, and even starting to threaten cultivated coffee farms, too. In fact, several coffee bean species may already be extinct.