Coffee extinction: how will we cope? – leader comment

Drinking coffee has soared in popularity in recent years
Drinking coffee has soared in popularity in recent years
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Wake up and smell the coffee! The need for the people who run the country to get real has perhaps never been more pressing and important.

However, just at a moment when they – and indeed we – need all the help we can get, there is even more trouble on the horizon.

People in Britain apparently love coffee so much that they drink an astonishing 95 million cups of the stuff every day. But scientists are now warning that climate change, increased levels of fungal disease and pests, and the loss of forests mean that 75 of the world’s 124 wild coffee species are at risk of extinction, including wild Arabica. The cultivated version of this species provides about 60 per cent of the coffee that we drink around the world.

READ MORE: Coffee’s health risks and benefits explored and debunked

Coffee growers have already warned their crops are being adversely affected by changes to weather patterns, and it was hoped that wild species might help provide alternatives better able to cope with the new conditions.

For some of us, perhaps many of us, a world without coffee hardly bears thinking about.

READ MORE: 7 of the best hidden coffee shops in Scotland