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]AS