Coffee prices reach new highs: comment

97% of all coffee globally is grown in countries vulnerable to climate impacts.

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By George Smeeton

Last updated:

Commenting on the news that the news that coffee prices have reached record highs following extreme weather in producer nations including Vietnam [1], Gareth Redmond-King, Head of International Programme at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

"The cost of our morning coffee is soaring as climate change hits crops in Brazil and Vietnam. The UK imported a billion pounds worth of coffee in 2023; just over half in raw coffee beans, and the rest as roasted coffee.

"But 97% of all coffee globally is grown in countries vulnerable to climate impacts. More than half the coffee beans we imported last year came from Brazil and Vietnam - worth £198m and £87m respectively. Between them they also supply half the beans imported by EU nations to make roasted coffee we also import.

"Worsening climate extremes are threatening food crops in the UK and overseas. We import half the food we consume; damaged crops limit supplies and raise prices in our shops. And coffee, like many UK food imports, cannot simply be grown here instead. If we don’t speed the path to net-zero emissions by mid-century, and support farmers and food producers at home and abroad to adapt to a warming world, then prices will only continue to rise, as supplies are squeezed further."

Recent ECIU analysis revealed that a combination of El Niño and climate change have driven up cocoa prices with the world’s largest exporters, Ivory Coast and Ghana, and that other day-to-day staple foods we import to the UK are also likely to be impacted by El Niño intensifying the impacts of worsening climate change [2].

ECIU analysis has also found that UK yields of oilseed rape, which is used for domestic and commercial vegetable cooking oil, are projected to be as much as 38% lower this year compared with 2023, after extreme wet weather in winter and early spring hit crops. [3]

Previous ECIU analysis found that the biggest driver of this price increase for UK households is climate change, which added an average of £361 to household food bills in 2023 compared to 2021. [4]

Notes to editors:

1. Coffee prices hit new highs over fears of global shortages:

2. Easter chocolate prices soar as climate change and El Niño bite:

3. Cooking oil ‘double whammy’ price shock:

4. Climate, Fossil Fuels and UK Food Prices: 2023:

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: