Increasingly expensive and poor quality coffee: “Climate change is to blame”

Bad news for coffee lovers: The irresistible beverage may become more expensive and less delicious. Climate change and the dizzying increase in demand all over the world have caused cup prices to skyrocket. Let’s try to better understand what’s going on and why coffee and other products (like orange juice) will become a luxury for consumers due to climate change.

Coffee consumption could double by 2050

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world after water. More than 3 billion cups are served every day and that number is expected to double by 2050, look how many Starbucks stores are opening around the world. But the prices aren’t all that cheap: You spend just under $10 on an American iced Starbucks in Beijing, China.

Worldwide coffee consumption has more than doubled in the past 30 years, and this trend is expected to continue. Major coffee importers continue to be Europe, the United States, Japan and Russia, but new consumers are emerging in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Africa. Starbucks plans to open a store every 9 hours in China by 2050 to reach its goal of 9,000 locations. Finance TimesOther brands in the industry such as Lavazza, Costa Coffee and Tim Hortons are following the same steps. In short, according to research by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, we will need 25% more coffee by 2030, and that’s a problem, let’s see why.

Heat threatens to destroy half of coffee plantations

Climate change is destroying coffee crops almost everywhere in the world; this means that it will be difficult to keep up with the explosion in demand and therefore the prices of the beloved beverage will increase every year. Columbia University experts warn that very high temperatures, floods and fires could destroy half the world’s harvest. More and more entrepreneurs decide to leave the business (despite the increase in demand) because it is too risky and increasingly less profitable. We are facing a real economic paradox, but there are no economic laws that apply in the presence of such sudden and strong climate changes.

Coffee and Arabica prices at 15-year high

Plantations in Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Honduras (the world’s largest coffee producers) are no longer performing as they once did, as climate maniacs are ruining crops. We have already reached the point where coffee consumption exceeds production, and the bad news (another) is that there is no more new land to plant. “We’ve reached the saturation point of farmland,” said Andrea Illy, president of the family-named company. Republic. According to the entrepreneur, who is president of the regenerative society foundation, this problem needs to be solved by cultivating more robust and durable coffee varieties, as well as improving regenerative agricultural practices, as Colombia has done.

Meanwhile, the price of Robusta coffee (better quality but more vulnerable to climate change) is rising: it hit a 15-year high in May amid the threat of El Niño, a climate phenomenon causing changes in global temperature. and in the rain. Vanusia Nogueira, managing director of the ICO – International coffee organization, is alarming: “Not only will prices rise – he said in an interview: Finance Times – unfortunately it can change the taste. It’s less good precisely because of changes in its natural environment”.

Orange juice prices are also increasing rapidly

Coffee is not the only beverage threatened by climate change; There is also orange juice. In the financial markets, the price of this “commodity”, which is called raw material in the stock market, increased rapidly, doubling compared to the same period last year. At the end of 2022, we hit the highest level ever, at over $3 per pound due to hurricanes that swept Florida, the world’s fourth largest orange producer. Then there was severe cold for three months and an incurable plant disease that devastated the crops.

Matthew Joyner, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, an association that represents nearly 2,000 producers, said orange juice production in the United States is at its lowest level in over 100 years. “We were producing 240 million cases 20 years ago, now we will close the season with 18 cases”. But the disease that makes oranges green, misshapen and bitter also spread to Brazil, the world’s largest supplier, infuriating growers. In short, at this rate, coffee and orange juice will become luxury for consumers.

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Source: Today IT