STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 5, Number 1

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24 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 1, 2016 (February/March) By Dan Shryock W orking in the coffee industry can be a labor of love but last year there was little love lost over labor disputes that disrupted West Coast coffee import- ers, warehouse operators and roasters. Work slowdowns from Seattle to Long Beach delayed thousands of containers brimming with green coffee from reaching regional warehouses and roasters. Com- pounding those delays were ongoing agricultural inspections at some ports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Together, tons of coffee stalled in port. By year's end, most difficulties were resolved. "I think the (2015) inventory numbers were really positive considering the way we started the year," said Dave Weber, v.p. at The Warehouse Annex in San Leandro, Calif. "We got off to a clumsy start because of the labor challenges. Once those were resolved, we recovered very well. It was more like a nine-month sprint to get to the end of the year. That was a positive thing." The numbers support Weber's evaluation. Despite the labor issues, the Port of Oakland – point of entry for The Warehouse Annex's shipments – received slightly more coffee during the first 11 months of 2015 than it did the previous year. Here are the hard numbers, according to the Port of Oakland: - 1,790 metric tons of coffee landed in 2014. - 1,795 metric tons landed through November 2015. That represents 10% of total U.S. coffee imports, a Port of Oakland spokesman said. Making up for Lost Time West Coast coffee industry recovers after protracted 2015 labor dispute but not before Portland loses major shippers; USDA inspections still trigger some delays The once active Port of Portland, seen here during better times, is now nearly silent. William, 6, and Jaeden Hartstrom, 9, are regulars in the Costa Oro warehouse.

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