Sunday, April 14, 2024

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.


Climate Change Is Affecting Where Coffee Comes From

As a result of climate change warming our world, coffee and other key crops can no longer be grown in the same location. Instead, they may be grown in different regions entirely shaking up the current distribution system.

Not only does this threaten the world’s most popular beverage, but it threatens the livelihood of the farmers that currently grow it. And new research published in Plos One has found that the most suitable areas now will decrease by more than 50%.

And it’s not just coffee; the report also looked into avocados and cashews.

Coffee Is Very Hard to Grow, and Climate Change Is Not Making That Better

Most people don’t realize how much work goes into growing the coffee they drink every morning, but in no uncertain terms, it is not easy.

Like most crops, growing coffee depends on several key factors. The most important of them is the climate. Coffee requires a tropical environment where it will not be subjected to frost. However, the temperature cannot be too hot.

This is what makes growing coffee very difficult. The precise climate is essential.

Currently, Brazil is the biggest producer of coffee and provides the world with one-third of the global supply. Unfortunately, this will likely change by 2050.

As the coffee capital of the world, the report looks specifically at it and other South American countries.

Overall, the report found that the top countries that produce coffee (Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Columbia) will see suitable areas decrease by 48 to 97% depending on the region. With temperature rise being the main reason.

Climate Winners And Losers

One thing the report makes clear is that there are countries that will lose their key crops, while others will gain them.

For example, avocados were another item in the report. Peru, one of the biggest growers of them will see a 50% decline in suitable growing areas. However, Mexico, another major producer, will see an 80% increase in suitable land.

And this is true for just about every crop. Climate change will ultimately shift around where key crops come from.

What’s This Mean For Coffee Drinkers?

Unfortunately, it means a price hike, but not for a while.

This is because major coffee manufacturers, like Starbucks, Dunkin, etc, all buy the beans months in advance, thus, it can take a while to actually see the price of coffee rise. And the major disruptions that the report outlines won’t occur for quite a few years.

That said, the price of coffee is already on the rise from weather-related issues.

This is mainly due to severe droughts, which are also being accompanied by frost. Together, the price of coffee beans has increased dramatically in recent months.

Another consideration to keep in mind is the availability of certain beans as different beans require separate environments. For reference, the report mainly focused on the most popular bean, Arabica.

For those that might have a hard time finding their favorite coffee bean now, it’s probably going to be much harder in the next 30 years.

The full ramifications of climate change in regards to coffee won’t materialize for many years, but it will happen.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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