How Supply And Demand Could Affect Your Morning Cup

Some of the largest exporters in the world - including Brazil, which exports approximately one-third of all the coffee in the world - are reporting that they cannot keep up with growing demand. It's estimated that production needs to rise by 50 million bags per year to keep up with the emerging markets. That would mean Brazil would have to double its already gigantic production in under a decade. While that would mean more jobs and perhaps even increased competition among growers and roasters, it's going to be a big trick to pull off.

The taste for coffee is spreading across the globe.

What's Causing the Issue?
There are several factors impacting the supply and demand issue but chief among them is the fact that more and more people across the globe are drinking coffee. What was once a predominantly western drink has spread to every continent. Scandinavia, eastern Europe and the majority of English-speaking countries are still at the top of the list of coffee consumers, but drinking coffee is a growing trend in Asia, especially in the sprawling metropolitan areas. The faster the global economy moves, the more coffee people are drinking to keep up with it.

Other factors are harder to pin down, though droughts are to blame for some withered coffee crops. The most common species of coffee beans can only grow at high altitudes in subtropical latitudes, which means that if those areas become affected by drought, it is nearly impossible to relocate crops. Therefore, growers may have to turn to better forms of irrigation. The worst case scenario for many farmers is having to switch to a more stable crop. Because coffee beans are very picky about where they will grow, it's often easier for growers to simply switch to a hardier crop.

What Can You Do?
The best thing you can do is to keep drinking coffee. Is that what you expected to hear? Well, the truth is that if coffee lovers continue to support sustainable, fair-trade coffee, growers will be more likely to continue to plant more coffee crops. The next time you load your Mr. Coffee® Blade Grinder with freshly roasted beans, take an extra moment to enjoy the great smell of coffee grounds and the anticipation you feel as you brew that first cup of the day.

Coffee lovers around the world can come together to solve it before it becomes a problem. If there's any group of people who can get things done, it the millions of people around the globe who enjoy drinking coffee every day.

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If the Shengen Area fails, what will it mean for EU workers?

The recent immigration crisis in Europe has caused heads of state to question the efficiency of the Schengen Area. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban are skeptical of the Schengen Area's continued existence. Not only is Orban intent on reinstating border controls between Schengen countries, he has also proposed building a fence along the Greek and Macedonian/Bulgarian border, reported The Telegraph. Such measures are aimed at curbing illegal immigration into the EU. Already, an estimated 1 million people have entered the area illegally.

But what would the suspension of the free-travel zone mean for legal workers moving between states?

Understanding the difference between the EU and the Schengen Area
The most important thing to understand about the Schengen rules for free movement is that they do not directly correspond to the EU's laws regarding cross-border travel between members. In fact, the Schengen Area also covers Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, which are not members of the EU. Passport holders of these countries are not required to get visas to travel across Schengen borders. The agreement was implemented in 1985. The current problems haven't been caused by complications with internal movement, but rather by issues with the external borders of the Schengen zone.

If the Schengen Area fails, EU citizens will still be able to travel between countries without a visa - however, they can expect their commute to get a little longer. The right to free movement is guaranteed by Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The article states that EU nationals and their family members may freely pass between states for the purpose of work or while in the pursuit of a job. While the Schengen rules are in place, these nationals do not need to present a passport while crossing the border. Therefore, if the rules were to be suspended, free travel would still be permissible, although traveling workers would be required to show their papers at the border. Commute time could become quite lengthy with such requirements.

Workers and their family members are also allowed to live in the country in which they are employed. If the Schengen rules are suspended, it should in no way affect the EU laws regarding living abroad. That said, many people are fearful that a suspension of the laws would create a domino effect that could potentially collapse other portions of the EU system. The French prime minister has been especially fond of prophesying such eventualities. The situation should be clearer after the next EU summit.

How are non-EU nationals affected?
Non-EU nationals are required to have a 60-day Schengen Visa, which will in turn give them the right to apply for a residency permit. The process of obtaining the visa can be difficult and time-consuming, and so many serious applicants use a professional immigration services provider to expedite the process. In general, Schengen Visa applicants need to provide a number of documents, such as medical insurance policies, employment contracts and copies of their airline tickets, among others. Visa holders are typically checked at the external borders of the Schengen Area, then given the right to free movement once inside. If the rules are dissolved, international workers may face tighter security restrictions, though they will still be allowed to work in the EU, assuming they have the proper documentation.

A proposed deal with Turkey
On Mar. 8, EU leaders came close to settling a major part of the immigration issue. Turkey, which is currently seeking entrance into the EU, has agreed to accept migrants from Greece in exchange for an equal number of Syrian immigrants. Additionally, the EU could potentially send €3 billion in funding to Turkey, reported RT. Nothing has been signed or officially documented yet, but both parties seem hopeful of a favorable outcome for all. The agreement could pull the Schengen Area away from the danger of dissolving.

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