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Starbucks pays farmers $20 million more as crisis deepens. seattletimes.com/business/star

"Starbucks is giving farmers a cushion against the blow of tumbling coffee prices, a move that could also protect supplies of the high-quality beans the company needs."

Here we have a business protecting it's suppliers by paying them more than the going price, because that price was forced down by overproduction in one country.

This makes especial sense for coffee because not all coffee is the same.

What do I mean by 'not all is the same'?

Coffee is not fungible, even though the global market treats it as such. The same coffee plants produce different tasting beans when grown in different places. In order to make good tasting coffee blends, roasters generally need coffee beans from as many as four or five sources.

This variation is why certain coffee growing regions do get higher prices; Jamaica Blue Mountain and Kona for examples. But, generally, the market is unaccountably flat.

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