These Three Cupboard Staples Could Be Next On The Food Shortage List
There are some things in our kitchen arsenal that we'd struggle to live without. That morning cup of tea or coffee, fresh fruit, and staple carbs like pasta or rice.
Until recently, in the UK we've been very fortunate to usually have full access to all the fruit and vegetables money can buy in the shops, but's hard to deny that things are changing.
Supermarkets have been hit by shortages of essential items like eggs, tomatoes, cucumber and peppers in recent weeks, and a new report by Fairtrade has found that even more foods could be on the shortage list in the coming years, perhaps even permanently.
The report says that the current climate crisis could cause three popular ingredients to become "endangered", or even extinct. Bananas, coffee and cocoa are the foods most at risk, as they're produced in countries that are vulnerable to the threats of climate change and deforestation. Life without coffee or chocolate? Surely not.
According to Fairtrade, who produced the new report in collaboration with independent advisors 3Keel, many cocoa-growing regions in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire (where the majority of the world's cocoa is produced) will probably become too hot to grow the crop by 2050. And with no crops, we've got no chocolate.
The outlook for coffee is similar, with 50% of the area where coffee farming takes place all over the world being labelled as no longer suitable by 2050 due to the changing climate. To paint a picture, the land area needed to produce the volume of coffee the UK imports each year is about the size of Warwickshire. 2050 might seem a long way away, but according to the report, more than 90% of Fairtrade Kenyan coffee farmers said they are already experiencing the effects of climate change, which in turn impacts your nice cup of coffee at home.
Coffee farmer Liliane from Sul de Minas, Brazil says: ‘We live and own property in an areavery favourable for coffee, but, even so, we suffer a lot with the climate's setbacks. Toproduce a special coffee, we need the climate."
Bananas are also at risk of becoming "endangered" as almost half of the UK's banana imports (around 500K bananas!) come from countries that are extremely vulnerable to climate change.
But what can be done about food shortages and climate change?
But it's not all doom and gloom. Mike Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, says that if farmers and workers receive the fair price that the organisation campaigns for, they can invest in more sustainable and "climate resilient" ways of farming their produce.
You can support these efforts by buying Fairtrade products in the shops, and there are LOADS more than you'd think. Guylian, Tony's Chocolonely and Green & Black's are just some of the brands you can pick up Fairtrade treats from, as well as looking for the Fairtrade logo on your favourite types of wine, coffee, bananas and even flowers.