Endangered Coffee Plants Around The World

Endangered Coffee Plants Around The World

Whether it’s a single cup or an entire pot, there’s nothing like that ‘fresh brewed’ aroma of coffee in the morning. Or frankly, any time of day for millions of people world-wide. Some use it as a stimulant to get moving while to others, it’s just a habit with the newspaper, chatting with friends or with a snack to finish the day.

So many different manufacturers of the drink use different blend of beans to try and make their brand stand out. Many chain restaurants or fast food establishment thinks their blend is the best. Stores line the shelves with as many different brands as room allows.

One thing for sure, caffeine is one of the most consumed ‘drugs’ in the world today, but that is an article in itself. Millions of people use it to get moving, to get your mind reeling preparing for a test at school, that job interview coming up. As many reasons as there are people drinking coffee.

Could It All be in Jeopardy?

Many folks could probably count on one hand how many different types of coffee beans there are in the world today. Arabica would probably be the one, and possibly only one, that comes to peoples mind.

For this article, we are going to focus on the ‘wild’ coffee bean. According to just about any coffee scientist you happen to come in contact with or read articles by, there are 124 different wild coffee plants in the world today.

A couple of prominent studies indicate that at least 60% of those wild plants could become extinct in the regions they have thrived in for centuries. And whether you believe in it or not, it’s the climate, or the changing of the climate, that is the forefront of their demise.

And this includes the wild Arabica, distant, but important relative to the most popular and traded coffee. These wild beans are used genetically in the process of cross-breeding different varieties and flavors.

Recent Studies Released

In one such study released on January 16, 2019, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, just outside of London, confirmed that over half of the worlds wild coffee plants are on the endangered list. The head of coffee research at Kew, Dr. Aaron Davis summed up the findings in a couple of meaningful quotes.

“Among the coffee species threatened with extinction are those that have potential to be used to breed and develop the coffees of the future, including those resistant to disease and capable of withstanding worsening climatic conditions. The use and development of wild coffee resources could be key to the long-term sustainability of the coffee sector. Targeted action is urgently required in specific tropical countries, particularly in Africa, to protect the future of coffee.”

“We hope our findings will be used to influence the work of scientists, policy makers and coffee sector stakeholders to secure the future of coffee production — not only for coffee lovers around the world, but also as a source of income for farming communities in some of the most impoverished places in the world.”

And It’s Not Just The Plants In Danger

Thousands of different plants around the globe are being threatened, in their natural, wild state within the habitat they have survived for hundreds of years. Coffee is just one being studied, mainly because it’s a traded commodity, but also a lively hood for countless poor farmers around the world. Most of them in the most impoverished of nations and vital to their maintaining a living.

Just too many studies point to changes in the climate for it to be ignored. Being that coffee is so widely consumed, it could be like spikes in the price of fuel that will spark some changes. With coffee plants dying off, the price to get the beans to market are sure to increase, just for supply and demand.

Much is going on behind the scenes in the coffee sector and the notion of some plants possibly become extinct will be in the news for quite a while into the future.


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