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Starbucks fears coffeeless world

Forget about super-sizing into the trenta a few years from now: Starbucks is warning of a threat to world coffee supply because of climate change.

world Updated: Oct 15, 2011 00:59 IST

Forget about super-sizing into the trenta a few years from now: Starbucks is warning of a threat to world coffee supply because of climate change.

In a telephone interview, Jim Hanna, the company's sustainability director, said its farmers were already seeing the effects of a changing climate, with severe hurricanes and more resistant bugs reducing crop yields.

The company is now preparing for the possibility of a serious threat to global supplies. "What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road - if conditions continue as they are - is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean," Hanna said.

It was the second warning in less than a month of a threat to a food item many people can't live without.New research from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture warned it would be too hot to grow chocolate in much of the Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's main producers, by 2050.

Hanna is to travel to Wash-ington on Friday to brief members of Congress on climate change and coffee at an event sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Hanna said the company's suppliers, who are mainly in Central America, were already experiencing changing rainfall patterns and more severe pest infestations.

Even well-established farms were seeing a drop in crop yield, and that could well discourage growers from cultivating coffee in the future, further constricting supply, he said.