In an interview with Time magazine, form Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned that climate change ranks among the company’s biggest challenges. Rising temperatures and lengthy droughts have made it tougher and more expensive to grow the coffee beans the chain needs to remain active. He said that climate change is going to play a bigger role in affecting the quality and integrity of coffee worldwide—not just at Starbucks locations.
At the time of the interview, Schultz was visiting a Starbucks farm in Costa Rica. This particular farm grows and roasts Arabica coffee, but it also serves as an essential research center for the company. It allows Starbucks to study the impact of climate change on growing coffee. Though the research center was built specifically for Starbucks, Schultz wants to share the implications of their data with the world. He says that if the information is not widely spread, there will be “tremendous adverse pressure on the coffee industry.”
The risks climate change poses to coffee are not new. In 2016, a report from Australia-based Climate Institute said the total growing area for coffee worldwide would be cut in half by 2050. A 2017 study published by “Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences” said the decline in areas could drop even further. It found that certain regions in Latin America could decline by as much as 88 percent by 2050.
Schultz himself, though no longer the CEO of Starbucks, holds the honorary title of chairman emeritus. This designation adds more weight to his statements; no longer the chairman or CEO, he has no responsibility to the company. His words should not be taken lightly by coffee companies and consumers.
Read the original article at USA Today.