Coffee beans

Coffee may be an important part of your morning. But for 25 million farmers, it’s their livelihood. And many of those farmers face problems as warming temperatures and changing rainfall patterns make it harder to grow high quality beans.

Meredith Taylor is with Counter Culture Coffee, a North Carolina-based roaster. She helps run workshops with growers in Peru, Kenya, and elsewhere.

She says there are strategies that might help farmers adapt to changing conditions – such as planting shade trees to cool the plants, or using new varieties that can withstand harsher conditions.

Taylor: “But not everything works everywhere.”

For example, a farming cooperative in Peru decided to build structures to protect coffee beans from rain while they’re drying. But a group in Guatemala …

Taylor: “They realized, ‘you know, we actually have land that is so steep that we can’t build these structures anywhere.’”

She says the workshops give farmers an opportunity to discuss a variety of solutions. Then they decide which changes are feasible within their growing conditions, business models, and communities.

Taylor says this collaborative approach can help the whole industry prepare for the changing climate.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo credit: Mark Daynes / Unsplash.

Sarah Wesseler is a Brooklyn-based writer focusing on cities, culture, and climate change.