Coffee could be increasingly challenging to purchase by 2050 due to climate change, Fairtrade Ireland has warned.
The Irish charity has said that coffee beans, cocoa and other foods grown in hotter climates could become extremely rare and expensive treats within the next 30 years.
“We could be looking at the end of the much-loved cup of coffee,” said Fairtrade Ireland’s Executive Director, Peter Gaynor, at the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight at Dublin’s Mansion House.
“Farmers who grow coffee beans are experiencing serious challenges due to many extreme weather events, such as in Kenya, East Africa, which is right now experiencing its worst drought on-record.
“A worrying 93 per cent of the Fairtrade coffee farmers in Kenya surveyed are already experiencing the effects of climate change.
“By 2050, it is estimated up to half of the world’s land currently used to farm coffee may be unusable due to floods, droughts and increased temperatures.
“The coffee fungus La Roya, also known as coffee rust, is also a threat. Between 2012 and 2017 it caused more than $3 billion in damage and lost profits and forced almost 2 million farmers off their land.
“We Irish are very fond of our tea, bananas and increasingly, of our coffee. But the question now is what’s going to happen to our food given the increasing impact of climate change on the 500 million small farmers who grow most of the world’s food,” he stated.
Fairtrade Ireland have invited Daniel Jose Aguilar, the Assistant General Secretary of the COCAFELOL coffee coop in Honduras, who grew up on a coffee farm, to Ireland to discuss the impacts of climate change on coffee at public talks.
The Irish branch of the Fairtrade movement also launched a new mural on the wall of Busy Feet & Coco Café on South William Street in Dublin, which was the first Irish coffee shop to sell Fairtrade coffee.
The mural, by artist Shane Sutton, shows an astronaut holding a banana next to empty shelves with the words: “The future of food. By 2050, coffee, chocolate and bananas may disappear.”
Details about Fairtrade Fortnight and how people can support it and find out about local Fairtrade events can be found at www.fairtrade.ie/fortnight.
Featured image: Jose Daniel Aguilar, a coffee producer and manager of cocafelol cooperative at the new Fairtrade mural at Mimi Cafe, Dublin
Picture: Karen Morgan
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