Honduras is the largest coffee producer in Central America. The country overtook Ethiopia as third largest global producer in 2017. Twenty-seventeen was a record production year for Honduras and was followed, surprisingly, by another year of bumper crops, surpassing the expectations of experts who generally witness one high production year to be followed by a lower production year as the trees recover.
Lack of Infrastructure
While Honduran farmers have grown coffee since the 1800s, as recently as 1984 only 10% of all coffee crop was being exported, demonstrating the difficulty of transportation and shipping for farmers. This lack of infrastructure led to an overall lower-quality production than neighboring countries. It is only recently that coffee production in Honduras has reached specialty levels comparable to other Central American countries. In 2017, a lot in the Cup of Excellence garnered the highest price ever paid for a Cup of Excellence coffee in any country: $124.50 per pound (approximately $56.50 per kg).
Coffee Leaf Rust
Like many other coffee producing regions, Honduras struggles with leaf rust. In 2015, the Honduran government announced plans to transition 8%, approximately 20,000 hectares of coffee growing land affected by leaf rust to growing cocoa.
A popular rust-resistant variety, Lempira, planted widely in Honduras, received difficult news in 2017 when scientists found that Lempira was no longer rust resistant. This news came just five years after the disastrous growing season of 2012-2013 when coffee leaf rust plagued Central America.