Coffe Under Pressure
The documents available for download on the right report on the methods and results of the Coffee under Pressure (CUP) project funded by Green Mountain Coffee Roaster (GMCR) with support from Catholic Relief Service (CRS) and the collaboration of national organizations from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, who provided evidence data for the model calibration and information about alternative crops to replace or associate with coffee.
The methodology applied was based on the combination of current climate data with future climate change predictions from 20 models for 2020 and 2050. The data of the current climate and the climate change was used as input for MaxEnt, a crop prediction model. The evidence data (coordinates) used for MaxEnt were collected using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) through field work and supplied by the national organizations through CRS.
The analysis focused on the specific municipalities that were of interest to CUP and provided predictions of the future climate and predictions of the suitability of current coffee-growing areas to continue growing coffee by 2020 and 2050.
According to the climate change models the annual rainfall will decrease and the monthly maximum and minimum temperatures will increase moderately by the year 2020 and the same trend will continue progressively by 2050.
The implications of these changes will be that the area where coffee growing is suitable will decline significantly by 2050. Suitable areas migrate upward in the altitudinal gradient; however there is only limited land available at higher altitudes and pressure on other land uses such as forests and protected areas could arise.
The results show that the change in suitability under progressive climate change is site-specific. There will be areas that become unsuitable for coffee by 2050, where farmers will need to identify alternative crops. There will be areas that remain suitable for coffee with only a slightly decrease of suitability, but only when the farmers adapt their agronomic management to the new conditions the area will experience.
It is worth noting, that fruit trees and other perennial crops can be considered as good options for crop diversification and replacement for coffee at the long term. Perennial crops provide many environmental benefits to humanity such as biodiversity, water provision, groundwater recharge, erosion control, carbon sequestration, and recreation, among other services.