Have you noticed the price of coffee increasing this year? You may not feel the pinch yet as many large coffee suppliers are protected with forward contracts that hedge price risks.

But there is a long-term trend toward rising coffee prices, partly because of climate change. According to the International Coffee Organization, international arabica coffee prices have risen over the past consecutive ten months, registering a 51% increase in August 2021 compared to the start of this year's coffee season.

Climate-adverse conditions in major producing countries are to blame for the rising trend, coupled with increasing freight costs and trade disruptions in Asia caused by the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Coffee is grown by more than 25 million farmers in the world, most of whom are smallholders.

It is an important industry that generates $100 billion a year, and a key source of export revenue for many countries. Arabica, the aromatic coffee variety that accounts for 70% of the global coffee trade, grows well only within a narrow band of temperatures.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 6, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.