First avocados, now a lime and coffee shortage?
First avocados and now a limes and coffee? Changing climate is threatening global food supplies and consumers are seeing prices rise.
After harsh hurricanes, droughts and ever-spreading tree disease, economies in Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua and across the world are beginning to feel the effects of climate change through food shortages. Yesterday, a U.N. panel warned that global warming will continue to affect world food supplies and prices dramatically in the coming years if countries do not take action.
According to Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography, lime prices in Mexico have more than quadrupled since December and sales have fallen dramatically for many vendors. Here in the U.S., limes were previously around five for $1 and now in many stores they've increased to two for $1. According to a U.N. climate change panel report released yesterday, coffee prices have risen recently by as much as 70 percent because of a drought in Brazil, and will continue to rise as harvests drop each year.
But consumers aren't the only ones who will feel the effects. Countries with major agricultural exports will feel their economies suffer. Mexico is the largest grower and exporter of limes and 95 percent of limes sold in the U.S. come from Mexico. The U.N. panel report predicts that 80 percent of Nicaragua's coffee growing areas will be obsolete by 2050, affecting both local growers and the country's economy as a whole, where coffee accounts for a fifth of the GDP.