Research says Coffee Production would be Hit Hard by Climate Change

A new research report states that the quality, price and production of coffee would be dramatically impacted by climate change.

According to the Sydney, Australia-based The Climate Institute, areas where coffee can be grown would be impacted to the tune of reduction by as much as 50 percent by 2050 due to extreme weather events and the rising temperature of the Earth.

“Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world every day, with nearly half of Australians drinking coffee regularly,” John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute, said in a statement.

“Yet coffee is just one of a multitude of things increasingly subject to negative climate impacts, and its negative flow-on effects,” Connor added.

Commissioned by Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand and released on Monday, the paper is titled ‘ A Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee report.’

Pegging a number of 80 to 90 percent of the 25 million coffee farmers worldwide, the Climate Institute said in a news release that these growers were “smallholders who are among those most exposed to climate change.”

While wild coffee could face a potential extinction scenario by 2080 if no “strong” climate action was taken, coffee producing areas in the world could halve in decades, the warned.

“Companies such as Starbucks and Lavazza, as well as the International Coffee Organisation, have already publicly acknowledged the severity of climate risks. Consumers are likely to face supply shortages, impacts on flavor and aromas, and rising prices,” Connor said.

There could be a number of steps that can be taken to reduce and mitigate the potential impact, Connor went on to say. Consumers should ensure that the government and coffee companies take action for clean production to ensure that “all products, business models and economies are carbon or climate neutral” and they could also choose and opt for and purchase brands of coffee that are and carbon- or climate-neutral are the steps or measures that the consumers can take to ensure that their cup of coffee does not go beyond their reach.

Climate change was a threat to coffee production in the medium and long term, said Andrea Illy, chairman of global coffee business illy, told CNBC at Davos earlier this year.

“Coffee is one of the crops which is severely affected by climate change, which is a threat both in terms of too high temperature in some regions when it is produced, (and) a threat in terms of water security – either droughts or excessive rains – in certain other regions,” Illy said.

The consumption of coffee was still growing even as climate change looks set to impact production, Illy went on to explain.

“We predict that we will need twice as much as coffee at least – more probably three times as much – by the end of the century, with less than 50 percent of the land available. I think we have a problem we need to fix,” Illy said.

(Adapted from Bloomberg)

Categories: Economy & Finance, Sustainability

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