Is climate change making your morning coffee more expensive?

Land that can produce high-quality beans is becoming more scarce thanks to warming planet

Samuel Webb
Wednesday 25 August 2021 23:08
Comments
Yemen: Coffee industry struggles amid civil war

An analysis of coffee markets suggests climate change is already affecting how much we pay for our morning eye-opener.

As temperatures rise and droughts intensify, good coffee will become increasingly difficult to grow and expensive to buy. Studies suggest that by 2050, about half of land used for high-quality coffee will be unproductive.

An analysis of trade information by data analysts OEC shows how coffee production is being affected by climate change – and how our taste for coffee could change as a result.

Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world and two species, Arabica (70 per cent) and Robusta (30 per cent) account for virtually all production.

Brazil grows 28 per cent of the world’s Robusta, which is bitter and used for instant coffee and espresso, and 41 per cent of Arabica, which is seen as superior. Robusta, however, is a more hardy crop, grows in hotter temperatures, and may become the bean of choice as the price of Arabica soars.

https://twitter.com/OECtoday/status/1430270102000263171

According to the US Department of Agriculture database, Brazil’s Arabica production is expected to drop by 30 per cent this year, while Robusta will grow by 5 per cent.

In Brazil, Arabica production is located in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Bahia. Robusta is almost exclusively grown in the state of Espírito Santo. During the last six months, only Espírito Santo has grown its coffee exports in Brazil.

The OEC added: “This year, Brazil’s Arabica production will be at the same levels as 2011, when the price of coffee peaked. In 2011, Arabica production in Brazil declined 17 per cent, while Robusta increased 14 per cent.

“In 2011, 30 per cent of total production was Robusta. This year, it will be 40 per cent.”

Coffee companies, such as Starbucks, are investing millions to develop coffee beans that can survive drought and heat while also maintaining the Arabica taste.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in