Your morning cup of coffee is likely to become significantly more expensive at the same time as quality levels “return to the 1950s”.
That is the stark warning contained in a new report from fairtrade coffee supplier Cafédirect, which predicts that up to three-quarters of the world’s coffee is at growing risk from climate change impacts that are already disrupting supplies and pushing up prices.
“Two-thirds of high-quality Arabica coffee comes from small holders who operate in vulnerable areas,” Wolfgang Weinmann, head of strategic development at the company, told BusinessGreen. “They do not have the resilience that larger organisations have and, at the same time, are located in tropical areas where, according to climate predictions, there will be worsening extreme weather events.”
The report does not predict the likely effect on coffee prices of climate change impacts, but Weinmann warns that “when you look at historical data all price spikes have always come from supply issues such as frosts or droughts”.
He added that while climate-related impacts such as floods, mudslides, or droughts were threatening supplies, demand from emerging markets is also climbing rapidly, putting more pressure on prices. “Prices will go up,” he warned, adding that there will be particular pressure on higher quality coffee, raising the prospect of quality levels returning “to the 1950s – and no one wants that”.
Cafédirect’s new report details how the company is attempting to mitigate climate change impacts affecting a co-operative in Peru containing more than 6,000 small hold farmers.