• Tunis

  • Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 5:06 AM
    Last Update : Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at 6:44 AM

Coffee Scarcity Threatens Tunis Coffeeshops with Closure

(AWP) - Due to the coffee shortage in Tunisian markets, coffeeshops in Tunis are unable to serve their customers, and 120,000 workers in the coffee industry are threatened with unemployment.

According to Sadri Ben Azouz, Spokesman for the National Trade Union for Coffeeshop Owners in Tunisia, café owners face difficulties securing supplies in light of increasing global prices and the weak supply of coffee imports to Tunisia.

"The coffee available today is sourced from other countries, and at a higher price than the prices set by the Ministry of Trade. Some merchants take advantage of the situation to raise the price of coffee, and this affects cafe owners due to lost revenue, ”Ben Azouz said.

"Unfortunately, today there is a major shortage of coffee, which makes it difficult for café owners to source it. This results in reduced sales, and cafés are having difficulty staying open,” Ben Azouz continued.

Tunisians consume about 1.4 kilograms per capita of coffee annually, which places Tunisia in seventh place in the Arab world in terms of coffee consumption.

However, the past months have witnessed a significant decline in coffee imports to Tunisia, and Ben Azouz says that the reason is mainly due to "the failure of the Office of Commerce to pay the necessary funds to foreign suppliers".

"The Bureau supplies coffee products, in addition to payment of accumulated debts," he added.

Ben Azouz estimates that Tunisia imports roughly 30,000 tonnes of coffee annually, but says that this is much less than the market needs.

Mohammed, a Tunisian coffeeshop goer, complained of the coffee shortage, as well as high prices: "Coffee is lacking. When we go to cafes to order coffee, we may find that there is no coffee or no milk, and this -is in addition to the high prices,” he said.