How Climate Change Could Affect Coffee Growth
Life wouldn’t quite be the same without your morning brew, would it?
It’s what gives us that morning kick to start our day right. Additionally, if you’re struggling to make it through the day, coffee can help to provide you with that little boost too.
Unfortunately, however, climate change is putting our beloved beverage at risk. Let’s take a look at what climate change and other environmental factors mean for coffee production.
Diseases & Infection
Disease and infections are a huge threat to coffee farms.
There are a number of fungal diseases which thrive in warmer and more humid conditions. These diseases are incredibly difficult to control and even harder to keep away from coffee farms. They move from place to place through the warmer winds. One of the better-known diseases is coffee leaf rust, which luckily, can be controlled.
A disease known as stem rust cut the production of coffee in Central America by 15% in 2012 and 2013.
This resulted in the price per pound increasing by 33% in the United States. This disease devastated Central America due to an increase in average temperature.
A British botanist has spent the past 30 years travelling the world to study the coffee plant. Aaron Davis concluded that of the 124 species of coffee, 60% are at risk of extinction. This is due to deforestation destroying the habitats of these species. He found that if things continue, varieties will disappear completely.
Arabica and Robusta are currently grown and harvested so they can be roasted and turned into cups and cups of coffee, but other species are still important. These other species could help to create varieties that can cope with warmer temperatures as the years roll by.
MarketWatch sent a team to Colombia to see how coffee production is being affected by global warming.
As you may know, Colombia is one of the top coffee-producing countries in the world. Last year alone, Colombia exported around 2.64 billion US dollars worth of coffee.
The research team visited a region of Colombia which has a huge number of small trees running across a sharp incline of the Andes Mountains. This area is already at risk from things such as mudslides and erosion.
However, the team reports that due to global warming, this region now faces flooding, drought and coffee disease too.
After asking farmers in the region about climate change, over 90% of them reported changes in temperature. Many farmers also commented that recent droughts had lasted longer too. To add, 59% of these farmers said they had seen an increase in crop disease.
Further research found that climate change was affecting different regions in different ways. Some were dealing with warmer temperatures; others were dealing with flooding. Because of this, it makes it so much harder to try and predict what’s going to happen in the future. As consumers, there are steps we can take to make sure we enjoy our coffee whilst being environmentally friendly.
Coffee farmers are trying to protect their crops at a localised level; however, long term plans need to be put in place to ensure we can all still enjoy our favourite beverage first thing in the morning.
Speaking of which, head over to our shop today to grab a bag of freshly roasted coffee.
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