According to the International Coffee Organisation, Switzerland is one of the top 10 coffee consuming nations of the world. Coffee drinking originated way back in the 15th century in Yemen. But the love for caffeine is such in Switzerland that per capita consumption exceeds 9 kilograms annually.
To safeguard the interest of coffee lovers, Switzerland started stockpiling an emergency lot of coffee between World War One and World War Two. However, it continued the practice in later years to ensure uninterrupted supply of coffee in the event of any shortage caused due to war, epidemic or natural calamity.
But now, the government of Switzerland has declared that coffee is ‘not essential’ for human survival. And it will stop storing the emergency coffee stock. The Swiss government plans to stop the practice by 2022.
Opposition Is Brewing Against The Decision
However, the final decision to stop the stockpiling of coffee is expected to be taken around November. But the opposition is mounting from coffee selling companies and residents of Switzerland. The debate has become hot and started brewing bitter.
Reservesuisse; the organization which manages Switzerland’s food stockpile says 12 to 15 companies including Nestle want to continue the stockpiling of coffee. It also stated in a letter that “weighting of calories as the main criteria for a vital staple did not do justice to coffee”, Reuters quoted.
Swiss people are also not happy with the development and are expressing their displeasure on Twitter.
Switzerland is not essential to my life and I was born there.
I stick with coffee.
— Anne_Lou_Lou2U (@Lou2uLou) April 11, 2019
The Swiss government’s clarification over the decision is that “Coffee has almost no calories and subsequently does not contribute, from the physiological perspective to safeguarding nutrition,”.
Till now, it is mandatory for around 15 coffee companies in Switzerland to maintain a certain amount of emergency coffee reserve. The current emergency coffee stockpile is about 15,300 tonnes which is good enough to meet the coffee consumption for about three months.