It is clear to see that climate change is real and is having an effect on all of our lives, but you may not realise how much of an effect it is having on the coffee industry.

There are two main types of coffee beans, Robusta and Arabica, which produce two very distinctive flavours of coffee and require different climates in order to grow. Robusta is as its name suggests and is more ‘robust’ requiring less specific environment in order to grow allowing for it be grown in more places around the world making it the more abundant of the two. Arabica, however requires quite specific environment controls in order to grow and this climate is limited to a handful of places around the world.

But why is this important? Due to climate change, the areas in which Arabica coffee beans can grow are ever so slightly changing. Even though the changes may be small it is in fact making these areas smaller and smaller. So small in fact that a recent study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, has predicted around 50% of the land used to grow Arabica coffee beans, will no longer be suitable by the year 2050.

What makes this news even worse is that the demand for coffee just keeps growing and growing, so to have an ever shrinking area in which to grow coffee in but an increasing demand for it, the question becomes how can it be sustained? However there is some good news not all areas will be affected equally, it seems with a more constant annual temperature, such as Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya, will be less affected by climate change. However the areas with longer dry seasons such as Brazil, India and Central America will be hit hardest and could see up to and 80% decrease in the area of land suitable for growing coffee.

This just shows how much of an effect climate change is having on not just the coffee industry but our world as well.

Source: Foxwell, David. “Without climate action, Arabica facing a roasting” Coffee & Cocoa International Jan 2016: 4. Print.