Tunisia: Coffee Industry Raises More Concerns About Dwindling Supplies

by | Oct 25, 2023 | Economic, Social, Tunisia


On 25 October 2023, a spokesperson representing café owners indicated that coffee supplies are dwindling and that if the current supply challenges are not addressed, café owners will be forced to raise their prices.  

Sadri Ben Azouz spoke on Mosaique FM representing the National Chamber of Café Owners, reporting that cafes were not receiving information from the Trade Office about coffee supplies. Furthermore, Azouz reported that coffee roasters were continuing to struggle to provide the necessary coffee to cafes. 

In June 2023, coffee roasters in Sfax raised similar concerns, noting that the Trade Office was struggling to source coffee that could be purchased by roasters. In July 2023, the same chamber representing coffee owners highlighted the challenge of rising prices in the coffee sector as supply has struggled to meet demand. 

Budget challenges across Tunisia’s nationalized industries have created strains on the ability of government-operated entities to source materials, with flour for bread being a prominent case in point. 

Some industry officials called for de-regulation in the coffee industry, which would allow for roasters and cafes to source their own coffee outside of established channels through the Trade Office.  



As the Tunisian economy stumbles toward 2024 with narrowing options to relieve the strained budget, Tunisians will likely continue to see the economic crisis play-out in products and services utilized daily. 

Baguettes and coffee are cornerstones of the Tunisian economy, but also of the daily social rhythms of many communities. Disruptions to such foundational products could have far-reaching impacts, particularly with so many Tunisian families already frustrated by rising prices and shortages of staple products. 

Coffee industry officials have been threatening price rises for many months, with little action taken to this point. 

With frustration growing over the expanding conflict between Israel and Hamas, shortages or rising prices could easy spark social unrest focused on the government as well as symbols of Western government presence. 


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