There are multiple reasons why coffee beans are under threat. One is that more people around the world are guzzling coffee than ever before, which means that there will need to be 40 to 50 million more bags produced in the next 10 years to keep up with demand. Much of that new demand comes from China, where a growing middle class has led to a 13.8% spike in sales, according to The Independent.
Another reason is climate change, because rising temperatures will affect farms around the world. The news just gets worse for Starbucks and Illy fans, since their Arabica coffee is one of the most threatened from climate change. And a third is that prices are currently very low for coffee, making it tougher to convince farmers to grow it.
Last year, the world had a shortage of 6.4 million bags of coffee, but it's not as bad this year, at only 3.5 million bags. A group of the industry's top producers is meeting in Milan to figure out how to keep the java coming. "Sooner or later, in months or years, we'll have to make a bold decision about what to do," Andrea Illy, the head of Illycafe SpA, told Bloomberg. "We don't know where this coffee will come from." In the meantime, start getting into tea, stat.
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