The evidence is clear that climate change is already beginning to impact coffee production. As the world continues to warm, market and climate volatility will combine to cause problems for coffee producers and consumers.
Without strong action to reduce carbon emissions, climate change is projected ‘to cut the global area suitable for coffee production by as much as 50 per cent by 2050.’
This is the message delivered by The Climate Institute in a report commissioned by Fairtrade – but what are the consequences for the 25 million coffee growers globally who depend on this $19 billion industry?
It means that their livelihoods are increasingly under threat. More variable climatic regimes are reducing crop yields, in some cases due to drought, and in others as a result of more humid conditions, which allow pests like the Coffee Berry Borer and diseases like Coffee Leaf Rust to proliferate. This all adds up to increasingly insecure incomes for smallholder farmer communities, and resulting pressures on factors including diet, health, and access to education.
Easing this trend is paramount. The report recommends that coffee drinkers play their part by learning about the issue and taking a first step by choosing to drink carbon neutral coffee. It also urges companies and organisations in the coffee supply chain to work with coffee farming communities to build their capacity to adapt to climate change and to secure their livelihoods. We’re already working with some of those communities to provide solutions, such as efficient irrigation systems, safe water, solar and clean cooking programs, that improve livelihoods and at the same time help tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
At Cirrus we are playing our part. Cirrus is a carbon neutral business. We focus strongly on where we source our coffee and choose our beans not only on their great taste but by their focus on sustainability and the environment.
For more information watch this great clip from the ABC