A year I see a lot in the coffee industry is 2050.
Occasionally it takes the form of 2040. Sometimes a little more of a ballpark 2045. However it’s sliced, the next three decades are going to be brutal on the environment and climate needed to craft our favorite drink, as global warming and the ever-greedy tendrils of capitalism only continue to get worse. This brief news report on Kenyan coffee producers discusses this issue and what it means for the country’s production. While not boasting the sheer volume of Colombia or Brazil, coffee remains a huge source of income for many Kenyans.
What really got me is how they’re having to plant entirely new coffee trees to adjust to the environment. Older trees that have seen several harvests simply aren’t used to the increased rainfall or dramatic temperature changes, leading to lackluster or even outright unsellable beans. I think it’s easy for many to downplay just how alive plants are. They adapt, thrive and struggle like any other living creature, with underwhelming conditions having long-term consequences not just for them, but plants to follow. When a single tree can take years to mature properly, that’s a lot of time wasted in the eyes of a fast-paced industry.
I’m not of the belief that climate change can no longer be reversed. We still have time to make things better…we just have to want it on a bigger scale than mere sentiment.