Coffee Industry Hit Hard by Climate Change


The latest industry to get clobbered by climate change is coffee, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO). The organization, which represents 77 coffee-producing countries, says that the temperature has risen half a degree in coffee-producing countries over the past 25 years—five times faster than in the previous 25 year period. That change has led to a panic among countries reliant on coffee.

In a meeting this week between coffee producers in Guatemala, roasters expressed concern that unstable weather has led to fights for increasingly-limited land and water resources. The National Coffee Association of Guatemala estimates that production of coffee in nine Latin American countries will dip 28% in the first three months of this years growing season. Coffee production in Columbia already fell 30% to 35% last year to a 33 year low. At the same time, ICO expects demand for coffee to rise from 132 million bags in 2009 to 134 million 60-kilogram bags in 2010.

All of this means that already-expensive coffee is about to get a whole lot pricier. And even though coffee companies like Starbucks and Peet's tout their commitments to sustainably-sourced products, temperatures are continuing to rise. So in addition to making sure that they use Fair Trade beans, coffee chains interested in self-preservation may also want to work towards preventing further climate change—a process that Starbucks has already begun.

[Via PhysOrg]

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  • Juan Madrigal

    Too bad the writer can't spell the name of the country "Colombia"... Is not the state "Columbia". Ignorance? Most probably...

  • Daryle Hier

    Ah Jeez, Climate Change ... Still. Fast Company, when are you going to grow up and realize there isn't a tooth fairy. Suck up the ego and admit this Hocus Pocus called global warming is strictly agenda driven to empower governments.

    It's OK - theories often are just that, theory and never proven. But quit masquerading any story headline with evil bogeymen laying in wait under the bed - GROW UP!

  • Chris Reich

    The polarization of the climate change argument amuses and disturbs me. It amuses because there is always a dash of conspiracy in the mix. It disturbs because ignoring a potential disaster out of hand because of ideological, either religious or political, dogma is the kind of thinking that leads to societal failure.

    But coffee? Surely there will be an awakening when coffee prices heat up at the same rate as the planet.

    Ah the irony of it all! Lack of coffee causes world wide awakening! What a headline that could be.

    Chris Reich

  • Bobby Segars

    Bwahhahahaha!!! "Coffee Industry Hit Hard by Climate Change" Except then you read that it hasn't actually been hit YET, but if trends continue...[que the menacing evil music] don, don, don.

    Why is it people have so much trouble believing trends DON'T continue? I bet if you asked 100 people in 2000 where the DJIA would be in 2010, 90+% would have said at least 25k.

    Granted, coffee production fell 30-35% in Columbia, but how about the other 76 countries? Maybe it has a bit to do with the growth in popularity of Sumatra coffee instead of Columbian growers' battle with CO2. Columbian coffee owned the market until coffee moved from a breakfast drink for old people to a hip drink that demands more nuianced and exotic flavors instead of the one size fits all Juan Valdez model that Columbia dominated.

  • Sandra Hadley

    Hmmm... sounds to me as if, the coffee industry and Fast Company are seizing upon the overstated "climate change" hypothesis in an attempt to increase prices and further an "agenda".

  • james FC

    Another brilliant climate change rant from Fast Company.

    Nothing else happened in the coffee growing countries in the last few years that would affect crop production, right? And then you are assuming that the temp change number is accurate and that it really makes a difference.

    Get back to reporting on technology and quit being a mouthpiece for Al Gore and his fellow kool-aid drinkers.

  • Aly-Khan Satchu

    The Breakfast Commodity Markets have produced some Stellar Returns of late. Sugar and Cocoa [Both Traded 31 Year Highs not too long ago] were very much the Leaders with Orange Juice and Tea not far behind. In Fact, Coffee has very much been the Laggard in this Asset Class. It probably is due a Period of Outperformance. It was Lefevre who said in his Seminal Reminiscences of a Stock Market Operator that the Tape is Your Telescope. Applying that Thesis, it seems to me, the Breakfast Commodity Tape is signalling something and might well be the best Pure Play Insurance against Global Warming.

    Aly-Khan Satchu