Report Warns Climate Crisis Threatens UK Coffee Love

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by KnowESG
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Charity Christian Aid released a report warning that the climate crisis poses a threat to the UK's affinity for coffee.

The report details that coffee growers in less prosperous nations need financial aid from wealthier countries to cope with the effects of climate change and manage the resulting loss and harm.

In the UK, individuals consume over 98 million cups of coffee daily, which, according to Christian Aid's estimates, could fill over nine Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The charity's analysis cautions that coffee farmers are grappling with a range of climate-induced problems, including soaring temperatures, irregular precipitation, diseases, aridity, and landslides—a challenge experienced by Christian Aid's associates in Honduras.

According to expert predictions, an increase in temperatures of just 1.5–2 C will cause the amount of land highly suitable for coffee cultivation to plummet by over half—54 per cent—by the century's end, including Brazil and Vietnam, the UK's two primary coffee sources. The revelation poses a significant threat to the livelihoods and survival of coffee farmers.

In 2017, the British Coffee Association estimated that coffee was responsible for supporting roughly 210,325 jobs in the UK economy. The new forecast has also alarmed British consumers. A recent survey by Savanta, commissioned by Christian Aid, shows that three out of five (57%) UK adults are worried that climate change will affect the cost, flavour, and availability of coffee in the UK.

The survey also discloses that almost seven in 10 (69%) UK adults believe that the government should do more to mitigate the impact of the climate crisis on the food supply chain to the UK, including helping coffee farmers in developing nations transition to sustainable and resilient production methods.

Christian Aid Week, the UK's longest-running fundraising week since 1957, commences with the publication of the report titled "Wake up and smell the coffee: The climate crisis and your coffee."

The report's recommendations include increasing climate finance to aid farmers in livelihood diversification towards climate-resilient crops and cancelling unfair debts to enable nations to allocate resources towards addressing climate change and poverty.

The serious predicament confronting coffee farmers worldwide has garnered the attention of the Fairtrade Foundation, the Mzuzu Coffee Cooperative in Malawi, the UK-based Caturra Coffee Club, and climate experts, who have spoken out on the impact of the climate crisis on coffee.

Mackson Ng'ambi, CEO of the Mzuzu Coffee Cooperative in Malawi, said: "Our experience is that coffee flowering has been grossly poor in a year where early-season rains have been poor or nonexistent. This is now a frequent recurrence."

He further added, "The global coffee pricing should consider that farmers are making more effort to maintain a field of coffee, resulting in an increased cost of production. If this is not recognised and informs coffee prices, sadly, most growers will abandon coffee farming."

Christian Aid's Chief Executive, Patrick Watt, stated that the UK government has an opportunity to make a difference. He urged, "The UK government must wake up and smell the coffee. As a country that has benefited more than most from industrialisation and has contributed disproportionately to the climate crisis, we have a particular responsibility to people whose livelihoods are under threat from climate change."

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Source: IANS

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