Climate change is already putting production and cost pressures on the supply of coffee in significant parts of the world’s ‘bean belt’ of coffee producing countries. Increasing temperatures and extreme weather events will cut the area suitable for production by up to 50 per cent, erode coffee quality and increase coffee prices for consumers, according to The Climate Institute’s A Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee report, released on August 29, 2016.

World coffee production has more than trebled since the 1960s to supply the $US19 billion trade that continues to deliver a 5 per cent increase in consumption annually. Yet, between 80 and 90 per cent of the world’s 25 million coffee farmers are smallholders who are among those most exposed to climate change. They generally live and work in the ‘bean belt’ which comprises around 70 mostly developing countries, including Guatemala, Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Climate change threatens their world.

“Without strong climate action, the areas suitable for growing coffee could halve in a few decades, pushing production upslope, away from the equator and into conflict with other land uses, such as nature conservation and forestry. By 2080 wild coffee, an important genetic resource for farmers, could be extinct.”

Recognising the impact of climate change, Fairtrade is working with commercial partners and coffee farmers on climate focused projects. These projects seek to prevent more greenhouse gases from being produced and provide technical and financial support for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

ClimateInstitute.org

PDF of the full report

ABC News' package on A Brewing Storm. Something to ponder as you enjoy your morning cup of coffee...

The Australian's "A double shot of drama for the world’s coffee supply" video coverage.