It is a sad and alarming news for coffee lovers out there. Climate change is affecting the world’s coffee supply and it could become extinct in 2080, according to a report. The report came from Climate Institute, a not-for-profit organization in Australia that was commissioned by Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand. The effects of climate change to the coffee industry is a very a serious threat that even Starbucks and other major coffee companies have acknowledged it.
According to the report, coffee is a $19 billion dollar industry in terms of coffee exports and 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed per year. Given these large statistics, changes in the coffee-making industry will affect, and has already affected billions of people worldwide including 25 million coffee farmers.
The major coffee-producing countries that are already affected are Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Brazil, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. The report says that according to a study, global warming will cut the area used as coffee plantations in half in 2050.
Are you one of those addicted to coffee?
How is coffee affected?
Both coffee arabica and coffee canephora are sensitive plants. According to the study, even as little as a half degree change in temperature at the wrong time can significantly affect coffee yield, flavour, and aroma. Higher temperatures alter the growth of coffee plants and damage the coffee beans. Also, as the world’s climate keeps getting hotter, farmers will have to move areas of plantations up to higher altitudes.
The current changing temperatures, patterns of rainfall, and incidences of pests and diseases are also already affecting coffee plants. Climate change has contributed to the birth of pests that have badly damaged coffee crops. The report states that in 2012, a plant disease called Coffee Leaf Rust disease started spreading due to high temperatures and high-altitude rains. This incident resulted to a loss of $500 million in crop damages in 2012-2013. There is also a pest called the Coffee Berry Borer that causes $500 million in crop damages annually.
Most of the coffee farmers are smallholders and only have coffee as their source of income. That being said, adapting to major catastrophes brought about to their crops by climate change change is extremely hard for them and most of the time, they are unprepared for it.
What can we do to help in our own little way?
The threat on coffee supply brought about by climate change is only one of the many catastrophic effects that can be brought by global warming. The first step towards action to prevent it is awareness. By acknowledging that it is happening, and at a fast rate, we can get our defenses up and start moving into action to stop it. After we are aware, we need to contribute what we can to prevent climate change like planting trees to counter the huge concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, recycling, avoiding using products that emit CFCs, and conserving water.
There are many sources out there where we can get information on what to do and not to do to prevent climate change from happening full blast. Lastly, let us spread the word. Let it reach the people that have authorities to act and implement action.
It will be a sad day when we realize that we don’t have something that we used to have. The best way to appreciate what we have is to preserve it. Climate change is a major phenomena that not only one person can prevent – it needs to be all of us. Coffee lovers or not, let us battle climate change. We will not know how important something is until it is gone.
Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via static.pexels.com