Nepali coffee and climate change?
There is no Starbucks in Nepal (thankfully) so normally no need to write about them. However this article on worldenvironment.tv shows something interesting. Starbucks are saying that they are worried about climate change, where other business leaders and politicians remain mute or sceptical.
“What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean,” Hanna said. “Even in very well established coffee plantations and farms, we are hearing more and more stories of impacts.”
Concerned to a point of being part of a lobby visiting Washington to speak to congress about their concerns.
Starbucks is taking a proactive approach to climate change risks. Hanna will be in Washington, D.C. on Friday to speak to members of Congress about climate change and coffee at an event sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Starbucks, responsible for slash and burn tactics to put smaller coffee-house establishments out of business looks long term:
“If we sit by and wait until the impacts of climate change are so severe that is impacting our supply chain then that puts us at a greater risk,” Hanna said. “From a business perspective we really need to address this now, and to look five, 10, and 20 years down the road.”
What does this mean for Nepal?
Coffee supplies are being reduced by higher temperatures, long droughts and intense rainfall, plus more resilient pests and plant diseases, according to the UCS, “all of which are associated with climate change.” Coffee varieties adapted to certain climate zones so a temperature increase of just a half of a degree can have a big affect and cause lower crop yields. A good example is the almost 30 percent decrease in Indian coffee production From 2002 to 2011.
Only time will tell.