Coffee flavored with anxiety Coffee enters the climate and politics mill Coffee flavored with anxiety Coffee enters the climate and politics mill

Coffee flavored with anxiety Coffee enters the climate and politics mill

Coffee flavored with anxiety Coffee enters the climate and politics mill

Sharif, who lives in the British capital, London, wakes up to drink a cup of coffee in the morning as usual while watching the news bulletin, the main headlines of which include: “The Israeli aggression against Gaza continues and the Houthis in Yemen target commercial ships in the Red Sea.”

Sharif sips the rest of his coffee while the bulletin concludes with its headlines stating that the country is exposed to a wave of bad weather that the country has never witnessed before. He then turns off the television, feeling anxious even though the strikes are hundreds of kilometers away from him.

Sharif did not realize that his cup of coffee every morning in front of the news broadcasts might also seep into him “anxiety” due to the political and environmental crises related to climate change happening in the world.

The coffee industry from all types of coffee beans is exposed to many risks due to global crises, as several scientific studies in recent years have revealed the risk of extinction of coffee types due to climate change , which leads to a change in the nature of the agricultural land in which coffee is grown due to desertification, drought, increased rainfall, and differences in temperatures. the heat.

Climate change alone was not the only specter that the coffee industry was struggling with. The ongoing war in Gaza and its repercussions in the Middle East also had negative consequences for the “morning mood” industry after the disruption of maritime traffic for commercial ships transporting coffee from Vietnam. The world's first source of Robusta coffee beans, and difficulty crossing the Red Sea to reach Europe and America due to the "Ansar Allah" group (Houthis) in Yemen targeting commercial ships of countries supporting Israel in its war on the Gaza Strip, which affects the coffee industry market and increases The cost of production and thus the rise in coffee prices around the world.

Climate change
El Nino phenomenon
Climate change affects agricultural crops due to the “ El Nino ” (Southern Oscillation) phenomenon, which causes changes in temperature, which affects rainfall and drought conditions, and thus affects agricultural crops and their quality.

A study published by Science Advance magazine in 2019 and conducted by a team of researchers led by Aaron Davis, head of coffee research at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in the United Kingdom, under the title “The high risk of extinction of wild coffee species threatens the coffee industry around the world,” revealed that 60% of Wild coffee species are threatened with extinction within the next 20 years due to drought and soil change.

The study found that there are 124 known species in the coffee genus, but most of us drink domesticated versions of only two species: Arabica coffee, which represents two-thirds of the global market, and Robusta coffee.

Arabica is particularly susceptible to diseases such as the devastating coffee leaf rust fungus, and Arabica and Robusta hybrids, which were previously resistant to the fungus; He started to give up too.

Aaron Davis says in his statement about the study: “We knew that there were wild coffee species threatened with extinction, but we did not expect it to reach 60% of wild species, and some of them had already become extinct.”

In a separate study , Davis collaborated with other researchers from the Kew Forum, Environment, Climate Change and Coffee Forests in Addis Ababa to take an in-depth look at wild arabica that was at low risk in the global analysis. The researchers found that, taking into account climate change, and using data Remotely sensing, the wild Arabica population could be cut in half by 2080, findings published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Aaron Davis explains that the findings suggest that wild coffee species that were considered low risk "could actually be at greater risk from climate change."

The head of the Climate Information Center at the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Dr. Muhammad Ali Fahim, says: Climate change has clearly affected coffee cultivation over the past years, especially wild species that are grown in regions with a tropical climate such as Brazil, Kenya, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, which has negatively affected production. in these areas.

Fahim adds that climate change has had a positive impact on coffee cultivation in areas where the climate has changed to a climate similar to the climate suitable for coffee cultivation, such as some areas in southern Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. Therefore, as he describes it, “not every change is harmful, and we must benefit from cultivating these new areas to compensate for it.” “The crop that was affected in its main cultivation areas,” which is what scientific research should focus on in the coming periods, as he put it.

The Director of the Climate Change Center explained that the difference between these crops that are grown in new environmental conditions is: They will not give the same effect as crops grown in their usual areas and will not be of the same quality.

Climate and production fluctuation
Brazil and Vietnam are considered the two largest centers for the production of coffee beans in the world. Brazil's coffee production represents approximately 40% of the world's production volume. However, the country has been exposed during frequent periods in the past three years to frost waves that have affected production rates and decreased yields.

According to the International Coffee Organization in its report on the coffee market in December 2023, Robusta prices reached their highest level in 25 years, at an average of 135 US cents per pound, thus achieving the largest growth in the price of Robusta by 10.5%, which is the highest level since May 1995.

According to the report, the El Nino phenomenon is expected to weaken expectations for production in Asia, especially for countries with origins such as Indonesia, where exports of coffee in all its forms from Asia decreased from 18.0% to 3.12 million bags in November 2023. The decline is mainly due to To Indonesia, where its exports fell by 45.2% due to a lower harvest in the 2023/24 coffee year, on the back of heavy rains that damaged the crop.

Coffee exports in all its forms from Africa decreased by 13.5% to 1.01 million bags in November 2023, compared to 1.16 million bags in November 2022. Uganda - the largest producer and exporter of Robusta milk in Africa - was affected by the delay in the harvest season, which negatively affected coffee production. Availability of supplies.

According to the International Coffee Organization, the decline in production in Asia and Africa is due to adverse weather conditions that affected the main producers, especially Vietnam, Cรดte d'Ivoire and Uganda.

The report adds that the Americas reduced production volume due to adverse weather conditions that negatively affected green coffee crops.

The war in Gaza
The cup of coffee did not survive the impact of the missiles launched by the Houthi group in Yemen to target ships belonging to countries that support Israel in its war on Gaza, which has been continuing for more than four months. Maritime traffic in the Red Sea witnessed severe disruption as a result of this targeting, which disrupted the transportation of the coffee crop. Across east, west, north and south.

The International Coffee Organization report attributed the rise in the growth of the coffee market index at the end of December 2023 to its highest level in 9 months to “tensions in the Red Sea over some shipping lines and the redirection of their ships carrying coffee, especially in transporting coffee from Southeast Asia and East Asia.” Africa is on its way to Europe, which is one of the unintended consequences that has led to higher shipping costs, as some shipping companies have introduced additional fees to secure ships and to take into account extended transit times.”

Dr. Muhammad Ali Fahim explains the impact of disruption in maritime traffic on the coffee industry in general, saying: “Any disruption in navigation leads to an increase in cost, and thus an increase in the price of the product, and thus a decrease in competitiveness.” He added that coffee is a dry crop that can remain for many months without being affected or damaged. But with the high cost of transportation from East and South Africa, he will not be able to compete with prices for coffee from America and Brazil due to the difference in prices for the same product.


  1. The interconnectedness of global crises, from climate change to geopolitical tensions, impacts industries like coffee. Understanding these dynamics is vital for sustainable solutions.

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