Switzerland considers scrapping coffee reserves

We’re always on the lookout for quirky coffee stories, and this one appealed. For decades, the super-organised Swiss have been required to hold an official national stockpile of coffee in case of emergencies such as natural disasters. We think that’s a brilliant idea – after all, there are some situations where you really don’t want to run out of coffee! However, new legislation now means that retailers and importers are no longer required to hold stocks as coffee has been declared not to be essential for human survival. Fortunately, we’re not the only people who disagree with that – there’s widespread opposition to the scrapping proposal.

The reserves were put in place between the First and Second World Wars, and include other essentials such as rice, sugar and animal feed. According to the new proposal, companies would no longer be required to hold stocks by the end of 2022, and they’d be allowed to use up what they already hold. In the face of opposition to scrapping the coffee reserves, a final decision should be taken in November 2019.

The current stockpile is held by 15 different companies and contains over 15,000 tonnes, which may sound impressive but will only supply about three months’ of Switzerland’s consumption. Switzerland are currently sitting seventh on the list of the top coffee consumers worldwide, drinking around 9kg per person a year. This is almost three times the consumption in Britain.

Opposition to the scrapping of the current scheme included a concern that the existing system helps to support the supply chain, ironing out any hiccups. Others were worried that the decision had been taken purely on the basis of coffee’s negligible calorific value and didn’t take into account the other health benefits of the drink.

Here at rijo42, we may not be stockpiling in quite such serious quantities as Switzerland, but you can be sure we’re on hand to fill your order so that you won’t run out! For everything you need for your coffee business, from beans to accessories, take a look at our main website at www.rijo42.co.uk.