The Irish charity that manages the ethical label announced 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 Peter Gaynor, executive director, Fairtrade Ireland, speaking at the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight, a festival of ethically sourced products, 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.”
Gaynor noted that a worrying 93% of the Fairtrade coffee farmers in Kenya who were 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 two million farmers off their land.
“We Irish are very fond of our tea and 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?”