Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Climate Change Effects on Coffee

Copenhagen is home of coffee, we all know.
But today Copenhagen is also the home where a new Climate 'Save The Planet' agreement should be signed these days.

The Climate Change we're seeing these years is influencing also the coffee volumes and quality. There's an increased demand for (quality) coffee, but the problem is that because of these changes in climate the total coffee production seems to decrease.

Even in Brazil, where lots of new coffee fields were planted last 2 decades, there seem to be a decrease, something like 8 million bags of Arabica for this new crop. That's a lot.
Nevertheless Brazil is, thanks to scientific models, an example on how you deal with this warmer earth. If you want to plant a crop where the model says you shouldn't, then it's going to be very difficult to get credit for that.

And what happens more and more is farmers changing from Arabica to Robusta. Less rain and stem borers that are attacking Arabica more than Robusta make Robusta fields more productive.

We can see in the Bean Belt (part of the earth where (most) coffee is produced) that most of the country's expect a decrease in volume this year. So, expect high prices for 2010.

And, nevertheless a big decrease in crop for country's as Uganda, a future for Robusta.
If you see how Robusta quality is improving lately! In India they started new agricultural and processing techniques on the Robusta's, with amazing results. I don't think we're going to pull single origin Robusta shots the upcoming years, but an increased percentage in some espresso blends could well be possible.

Most country's in problems with this 'wild' weather are the African, like Tanzania, and Latin American country's, like Nicaragua.

And a last danger in these days of Climate change is the hurricane risk.
In Puerto Rico they didn't have a great crop this year, but imagine a big hurricane on top of this....

An interesting read on this subject is this one at coffeehabitat.com.
And this one from USA Today.

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