LONDON (CNN) – Could climate change shake up the world’s coffee-growing industry?
One climate panel says yes.
It’s strong enough to give you a jolt and keep you wired for the rest of the morning.
But at this coffee exhibition in London, little do these customers know there may be a storm brewing in their coffee cup.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the IPCC, pests, rising heat and extreme temperatures resulting from climate change may impact the supply of coffee — and the industry is worried.
“I am very concerned. I would say climate change is the most serious threat to the sustainability of the coffee supply chain right now,” Mauricio Galindo, International Coffee Organization said. “Because if we don’t take action, if we don’t prepare and give the resources to our farmers, to adapt to the change in circumstances we will not have quality in the coffee and quantity needed.”
The IPCC says that a temperature rise of two to two-point-five centigrades means some coffee growing countries – could run out of cool mountainsides in which to grow their coffee by 2050.
It also predicts that by 2020, coffee production could decline by 34-percent.
With profits shrinking from $200 per acre to less than $20 per acre.
In Brazil for example, the biggest producer of coffee and Arabica coffee, rising temperatures could cut the area suitable for coffee production by two-thirds.
“And that means that Brazil would need to look beyond their principal growing areas of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo for their coffee. More importantly, that would impact millions of workers,” Galindo said.
“We’re talking about at least 35 million farmers and this means that if you think about their families, it’s probably 100 million people,” Galindo said.
“It’s a vast, vast number of people who depend directly on coffee as their number one source of cash,” Jeffrey Young, Managing Director, Allegra Strategies said.
But whilst this may prove challenging and devastating for many coffee growing countries. It can also be an opportunity for others.
“Vietnam for example has become a much much bigger player and is now the largest exporter of coffee, producer of coffee worldwide now, after Brazil,” Young said.
India is now developing its own coffee industry as is China.
A dramatic change of landscape for an industry that for years has depended on Brazil among others for their economic coffee fix.