Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Heat Damages Colombia Coffee, Raising Prices

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 11, 2011

by Elisabeth Rosenthal for The New York Times, March 9th, 2011.

Like most of the small landowners in Colombia’s lush mountainous Cauca region, Luis Garzón, 80, and his family have thrived for decades by supplying shade-grown,rainforest-friendly Arabica coffee for top foreign brands like Nespresso and Green Mountain. A sign in the center of a nearby town proclaims, “The coffee of Cauca is No. 1!”

But in the last few years, coffee yields have plummeted here and in many of Latin America’s other premier coffee regions as a result of rising temperatures and more intense and unpredictable rains, phenomena that many scientists link partly to global warming.

Coffee plants require the right mix of temperature, rainfall and spells of dryness for beans to ripen properly and maintain their taste. Coffee pests thrive in the warmer, wetter weather. (continue reading… )

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