Colombia's delegate to a world coffee conference told the assembled delegates that coffee consumption may fall by 10 to 11 per cent this year because of high prices.
Arturo Gomez Jaramillo, Colombia's delegate to the International Coffee Organization, urged price flexibility. The five-day meeting of the organization is expected to focus on ways of reconciling European and U.S. pressure for lower prices with Brazil's wish to keep prices at current levels or higher.
Brazil, which controls about 35 per cent of the world coffee supplies, is maintaining an export price of about $3.20 a pound compared with the world price of about $2 a pound.
In the face of continuing high prices, East German coffee roasters - on orders of the Communist Party - have withdrawn the country's most popular coffee brand from supermarket shelves.
The Nuernberger Zeitung newspaper, in a report from its East Berlin correspondent Peter Noeldechen, said the sale of "Kosta," the number one favorite among East German coffee drinkers, was discontinued in August.
Replacing "Kosta," which used to sell for $13 a pound, was an "improved" mixture of coffee and substitutes under the trademark of "Kaffee Mix" of $6.55 a pound.
East German coffee drinkers are unenthusiastic about the new product, which is 51 per cent roasted coffee and 49 per cent substitutes.
Meanwhile, the Folger Coffee Co. announced yesterday the expansion into additional portions of the country of its Flaked Coffee brand, a product which is expected to ease prices.
Designed for use in automatic drip coffeemakers. Flaked Coffee increases the amount of coffee which can be extracted from each roasted coffee particle by up to 25 per cent, according to a company spokesman.
The new product, which has been in limited test markets since January, will now be available in major portions of the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.