Sunday, September 4, 2016

Is Coffee on the way of the dinosaurs?

  Reports estimate that wild coffee could go extinct by 2080.

Coffee shortages can make it harder to get good coffee and that hurts the livelihoods of  millions coffee farmers around the globe.

  Environmental research groups are concerned about future access to coffee. Advisors for corporate giants like Starbucks and Lavazza express agreement.
  "We have a cloud hovering over our head. It’s dramatically serious," Mario Cerutti, Green Coffee and Corporate Relations Partner at Lavazza, said at a hospitality conference in Italy in 2015.

"Climate change can have a significant adverse effect in the short term," he said. "It's no longer about the future; it's the present."

  But a warming world and extreme weather, are making it harder to grow coffee in these regions, according to some reports. Temperature and heavy rain have helped a fungus like Coffee Leaf Rust migrate through Central America and into South America, destroying crops. Pests like the Coffee Berry Borer are migrating as well. Lack of adequate rain in Brazil cut coffee production by around 30% in 2014 with Minas Gerais,  one of the major coffee region hit especially hard.

  With only a half a degree of temperature change can making a region that used to be a coffee gold mine unsuitable. Moving production to higher altitudes and lower temperatures is not always feasible. Small farmers that make up 80-90% of coffee growers find this as a the largest problem.

  By 2050, half of currently suitable land will no longer be suitable, unless the world can limit warming to the 1.5-2 degree Celsius rise that was set as a goal at the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, and really, even 1.5 degrees is pushing it for most farmers.