Report: Does the United States Withdrawing from the International Coffee Agreement have any impact on South Africa April 04 2018

News hit this week courtesy of Roast Magazine that the United States would be withdrawing from the International Coffee Organisation set up to protect both producers and buyers. We asked Lionel de Roland Phillips of I&M Smith and former Chairperson of SCASA to shed some light on whether this has any impact on South Africa.

"The International Coffee Organisation ( and it International Coffee Agreement between its members, is mostly as statistical body for its members.    Thus I would say that there is really no impact from the USA leaving the body, as it has no bearing on either global coffee supply or prices of coffee.

In terms of membership there are forty four coffee producer members and therefore most of the producers, while it is only the European Union as a single member and six other consumer countries who are members of the ICO.   South Africa has never been a member.

Meanwhile in terms of the ICO and the USA coffee industry and while the USA government shall cease to be a member, the private industry National Coffee Association of the USA has always had a good relationship with the ICO and there is no reason to believe, that this shall not continue to be the case."    

So it seems that this move by the US may be more paperwork than practically effecting coffee trade. We hope that it doesn't have any negative impact on the farmers at origin.


You can read the Daily Coffee Market Report provided by I&M Smith here on our website.