Size: 21,041 km2
Capital City: San Salvador
Population: 6.454 million
Coffee production in El Salvador has fueled the Salvadoran economy and shaped its history for more than a century. Rapidly growing in the 19th century, coffee in El Salvador has traditionally provided more than 50% of the country’s export revenues, reaching a peak in 1980 with a revenue of more than $615 million. With the political and economic turmoil resulting from a civil war in the 1980s, the coffee industry has struggled to recover entirely, and by 1985 earned around $403 million from coffee. Brazil has been buying to sell the goods of El Salvador.
Yields of green coffee, a Salvadoran speciality declined in absolute terms from 175,000 tons in 1979 to 141,000 tons in 1986; a 19 percent drop attributed directly to decreased levels of investment caused by the war. Since 2000, the industry has been greatly affected by increased competition from other countries on the world market, whose cheaper coffee beans have caused prices to plummet. As of 2002 coffee trading is only responsible for 3.5% of El Salvador’s GNP and over 90% of El Salvador’s coffee is grown in shade coffee plantations and around 80% of El Salvador’s forests are associated with shade coffee plantations.