1. How is climate change affecting the coffee industry?
1.1 Climate change will make it more difficult to grow Arabica coffee in the future. Currently, the most suitable regions for coffee are Central and South America, especially Brazil, as well as Central and West Africa and parts of South and Southeast Asia， but the report found that over the next 28 years, climate change is expected to significantly reduce the suitability of coffee crops in these areas.
The major coffee-producing countries (Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Colombia) are severely affected by climate change. Increasing average annual temperatures make coffee more difficult to grow and the number of suitable areas is decreasing
1.2 With coffee prices already soaring due to harsh climate, harsh climate affects the flavor, aroma, health attributes, and productivity of coffee and ultimately underpins the economic viability, stability, and sustainability of the entire coffee industry.
Brazil, the world's largest supplier of coffee beans, has raised the export price due to severe drought and unusual frost between October 2020 and April 2021.
Retail prices for coffee in the U.S. rose 6.3 percent last year, below the level of overall inflation. Major coffee companies, including Starbucks, buy coffee in advance at a fixed price. But eventually, consumers will have to pay for price increases
2. How people respond to climate change？
2.1. In a worsening climate, Most major production areas will need to adapt to climate change, and people will have to switch and nurture other varieties of coffee trees. Such as switching to stronger robusta trees, but the quality of the beans is generally considered lower than Arabica beans.
Some companies are already preparing for the changing climate conditions. For example, Starbucks (SBUX) is distributing climate-resistant coffee varietals to farmers and working to protect at-risk forests in important coffee-growing areas, among other initiatives.
2.2. Use tree shade to reduce climate risk to coffee trees
The scientific evidence highlighted that indeed coffee phytochemicals, including the phenolics, terpenoids, and alkaloids—and the flavors associated with these compounds—are sensitive to shifts in environmental factors linked to climate change. Altitude and light have the most prominent effects on coffee quality.
In coffee-growing areas with higher altitudes and less sunlight, the quality of coffee beans will be better. Because of the higher altitude growing areas are beneficial in increasing the aroma and flavor of the coffee and coffee trees are not resistant to strong light and need proper shade, the growth is inhibited if the light is too strong.So many people lower local temperatures by growing coffee in the shade, as trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and evaporation.
Author: lillian Mao