6 Shocking Stats from the Impending Coffee Shortage

By Noah Kaufman |


Gather ye pour-overs while ye may, because a disease afflicting Central America’s coffee crops could make your morning pick-me-up increasingly pricey and difficult to get. Trying to stave off the crisis, the US government announced a new partnership with Texas A&M’s Coffee Research Center today with the goal of eliminating coffee rust (the culpable fungus). Near-epidemic levels of coffee rust in places like Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica are attributed to extreme weather conditions that have persisted in the region for more than a year. This adds to the coffee concerns created by Brazil’s drought this spring. Extreme weather has also been a culprit in the global lime shortage, and a looming threat to the world’s wine production. Here are some numbers to remember about the current coffee crisis:

$1 billion: The estimated amount of money lost already because of coffee rust.

$5 million: The amount of money pouring into the Coffee Research Center today to stop the coffee rust.

$10 million: The amount of money put into a similar campaign through a nonprofit initiative last year, which still has not stalled the epidemic.

500,000: The number of jobs the US government estimates could be lost by workers in coffee-producing countries.

15-40%: The amount coffee production is expected to drop in affected countries.

$????: The amount a cup of coffee from one of the affected countries could cost you. According to Ric Rhinehart of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, if the coffee rust problem is not resolved, consumers will pay “extraordinarily high prices for those coffees, if [they] can find them at all.”

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