Climate change threat to global coffee production

Suitable areas for growing Arabica coffee will shrink and move to higher elevations if temperatures rise by 2°C by 2050. Researchers have modelled changes in the local climate and predict a total negative impact on production in all coffee-producing countries, although within each country there would be large variations. Central America would be the most affected region, specifically Nicaragua and El Salvador. Strongly negative effects of climate change are also expected in Brazil, the world’s largest Arabica producer.

Coffee ranks just after oil in its value among traded commodities and is grown by more than 25 million farmers, most of whom are smallholders who depend on coffee for their livelihood. For many tropical developing countries, coffee is a significant part of export income, for example, coffee contributes 59 per cent of Burundi’s export earnings and 17 per cent of Nicaragua’s.

Source: Ovalle-Rivera O, Läderach P, Bunn C, Obersteiner M, Schroth G (2015) Projected Shifts in Coffea arabica Suitability among Major Global Producing Regions Due to Climate Change. PLoS ONE 10(4)


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