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28th Feb 2023

Fairtrade warn that coffee could disappear from Irish shelves by 2050

Simon Kelly

Drink up while you can, your morning espresso could be a thing of the past in a few years.

That’s according to Fairtrade Ireland, who held their annual Fairtrade Fortnight event this week. The Irish charity that manages the ethical label said that coffee beans, cocoa and other foods grown in hotter climates could become extremely rare and expensive treats within the next 30 years.

“We could be looking at the end of the much-loved cup of coffee,” said Fairtrade Ireland’s Executive Director, Peter Gaynor, speaking at the launch of the event at Dublin’s Mansion House.

Gaynor said that due to extreme weather events farmers are facing “serious challenges” growing beans. Kenya is currently experiencing its worst draught on record. It’s no surprise that 93% of the Fairtrade farmers in Kenya surveyed are already experiencing the effects of climate change.

“By 2050, it is estimated up to half of the world’s land currently used to farm coffee may be unusable due to floods, droughts and increased temperatures.”

“We Irish are very fond of our tea, and bananas and increasingly of our coffee. But the question now is what’s going to happen to our food given the increasing impact of climate change on the 500 million small farmers who grow most of the world’s food?”

As part of the annual event, Fairtrade also unveiled a new mural on Busy Feet & Coco Café on William Street in Dublin, the first Irish café to sell Fairtrade coffee.

Fairtrade Coffee Mural

The mural was created by artist Shane Sutton. It shows an astronaut holding a banana next to empty shelves with the words “The future of food. By 2050, coffee, chocolate and bananas may disappear.”

It’s not all doom and gloom for the industry though, as Fairtrade highlight. The charity announced that Fairtrade coffee sales are ahead of where they were in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a 30% reduction in sales in 2020 and 2021.

Bewleys and Insomnia both use 100% Fairtrade coffee. Supermarkets Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes also sell large quantities of Fairtrade products.

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