We’ve been talking for close to two months now about Wall Street’s impact on food prices. Congressional Democrats get it, but it’s still not clear whether the president. Well, here’s another guy who does–the CEO of Starbucks. Howard Schultz (no relation…I think!) had this to say about the price of coffee:
Q: How concerned are you about the high cost of coffee?
A: I’m speaking to suppliers and have visited coffee farms, and I cannot uncover this big problem people are talking about in terms of supply issues.
I think that is a fictitious component of what has happened this year [to coffee], which has been driven primarily by financial speculation, hedge funds, index funds and people who have decided that the basket of commodities is a place where money can be made.
You have to ask yourself, “Why is it that almost every commodity is hovering around record 10-year highs?” It’s not an accident. We’ve seen coffee now — yesterday it was over $2.80. A year ago, it was half that. If this continues, it’ll become more challenging for us, as well as every other coffee company.
Mr. President? Are you listening?