• Peter

Climate change and Coffee & Cocoa crops

Updated: Nov 17, 2019

The morning coffee ritual and the chocolate bar treat are two beloved traditions we indulge in literally all over the world. Unfortunately, climate change is adversely taking its toll on natural resources, and coffee & cocoa aren’t exempt from its damaging effects.

Climatic events such as extreme temperatures which we are experiencing worldwide, including severe droughts or floods have a direct impact on agricultural practices on these sought-after crops.

It is estimated, according to a report from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)*, that by 2050 coffee-producing land will not be suitable for production and it will be reduced by approximately 50%. Moreover, coffee grows in average temperatures ranging between 18° to 21°C, and with the continued production of green houses by human activity such as CO2, N2O and CH4, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations predicts that temperatures will increase between 0.5 and 8.7 degrees Fahrenheit*. These will cause a huge stress on coffee plants, also affecting taste quality. Likewise, climate change generates long-lasting dry seasons, unpredictable rain which may be of very short duration or extended to long periods generating excess humidity, and one of the most fearsome problems on coffee production: increasing diseases and pests such as coffee leaf rust and the coffee borer beetle posing an adverse threat on coffee production and harvest.

Similarly, cocoa production is facing the devastating impacts of climate change. Rising temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events have an important impact on cocoa production, leading to soil depletion and thus making it hard to cultivate this crop as well as deforestation, especially in the amazon where wild cocoa is dying due to climate change. According to the study “Global climate change impacts on cocoa“ from the ICCO*, deforestation will worsen the effects of climate change by generating precipitation reductions and addition to emissions of CO2 and other green house gases. Moreover, the World Cocoa Foundation cites that recent studies argue that lands for coca production will be decreased due to climate change. Longer or dryer seasons will