Media CenterAs Climate Change Threatens Central American Coffee, A Cocoa Boom is Born
Higher temperatures and low rainfull are becoming destructive for the production of coffee in some parts of Central America. In many areas, farmers are moving the coffee fields to higher altitudes in the mountains, while others look for a new investment to grow on the old coffee fields.
Reuters spoke to Gilberto Amaya of Catholic Relief Services in El Salvador to discuss the impact of climate change and what organizations are doing to help farmers grow cocoa as a new trade of business.
Growing consumer demand for higher-quality products in both markets is also driving the shift, and coffee premiums tend to increase with altitude.
"The lower-altitude coffee does not have the quality level that is now being demanded by the market, so the income these farmers are getting is lower," said Gilberto Amaya of Catholic Relief Services in El Salvador.
But those altitudes are suitable for higher-quality criollo cocoa, which is sought after by craft chocolate makers.