The increasingly severe impacts of climate change threaten global agricultural production and the livelihoods of millions of fair trade farmers around the world. Farmers are in danger of perishing if they are no longer able to provide for their livelihoods under increasing pressure from the climate. This is the result of a study conducted by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in collaboration with the Berne University of Applied Sciences and the International Fair Trade Organization.
More severe weather due to climate change is likely to have significant negative impacts on agricultural production in key regions around the world, from Latin America to the Asia Pacific region. The research shows that the production of bananas, coffee and cocoa, among others, is under pressure, as is the production of sugarcane and tea.
Coffee production is in danger
Climate change will affect certain crops and regions in different ways. For example, banana producers in the Caribbean and Central America are expected to experience more frequent droughts and more extreme temperatures, while banana producers in Southeast Asia and Oceania will see an increased risk of tropical cyclones. In addition, coffee producers in Brazil, Central America and southern India may soon experience peak temperatures along with drought, which will have a direct impact on fair trade coffee production.
The most extremely hot days
“While the effects will vary by crops and location, most areas will experience significantly hot days.” says Ega Malik, an ecologist at the University of Victoria and lead researcher on the report. “In some areas, this will make crop production very difficult or even impossible in the near future, putting additional pressure on farmers and farm workers.”
Investments in climate adaptation are needed
The impact of climate on agricultural production and the future of food is widely known, with commodities such as coffee long in the climatic spotlight. However, the link between climate change and the livelihoods of millions of farmers and farm workers has rarely been made clear. according to owner “Investing in climate adaptation and resilience measures is critical to avoiding lower incomes for fair trade farmers.”
More information about this research can be found at Press release from Fairtrade International.
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