For the Rainforest Alliance, British food is at risk. Will Boris Johnson open his eyes?

Boris Johnson is not having the best time of his political career. It is true that he survived the scandals of the parties organized on Downing Street in the middle of the pandemic. And who is recognized as one of the most committed leaders in favor of Ukraine. Nevertheless, as the recent by-elections also show, there is a sharp decline in consensus. While he sits on an openly critical and deviant wing within his party.

The plan to move migrants to Rwanda provoked unison reaction from: the Labor opposition, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the royal family. To shamelessly lie in claiming during the Brexit referendum that there would be no negative effects for British citizens clashes with reality today. Between high economic costs and an unexpected social crisis. To this we add, as the Rainforest Alliance has announced, that some of the food among the British favorites may disappear from the tables, due to climate change and deforestation, which the British Prime Minister, son of Trumpian denial, has always dealt with independently and sometimes ambivalently. way. It is enough to recall the attitude during the recent UN climate summit in Glasgow.

The alarm raised by the Rainforest Alliance, a non-governmental organization active for over 30 years working to preserve biodiversity and ensure better living conditions, includes products such as chocolate, coffee, avocados, bananas and tea. In addition to having a network of projects in over 70 countries around the world, Rainforest Alliance is a brand synonymous with sustainable agriculture. By certifying the origin and quality of products that meet certain ecological and social standards according to the guidelines of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).

The climate crisis and deforestation are causing devastating losses to habitats around the world, and the consequences may soon affect some of the most common foods. Protecting yourself from extreme weather conditions is becoming increasingly difficult. These challenges will affect raw materials such as wheat, corn and rice, but also raw materials. For example, the key ingredient in chocolate is the seeds of the cocoa tree. Climate change and unsustainable cultivation methods are exacerbating the production of cocoa fruits, with some areas once yielding high yields and now completely unsuitable for cultivation. Less precipitation, soil depletion, more pests and diseases reduce harvests and their quality. The answer has in many cases been to transfer crops to high altitudes, to the detriment of the existing forest areas. Deforestation that creates a vicious circle. As the area devoted to cocoa cultivation shrinks, it is possible that global demand for chocolate will no longer be met.

Tea plants that grow best in tropical and subtropical climates with hot and humid summers, cool and dry winters, also face significant problems due to rainy and dry periods, increasingly unsynchronous due to climate change. It happens that while some plantations are immersed in abundant rainfall, others are completely without water. The unpredictability of tea cultivation makes tea increasingly economically impractical for farmers.

While avocados need a lot of water to grow, but they are grown mainly in regions suffering from heat waves and droughts due to climate change. To meet the high demand for this fruit, extensive forests are felled and converted into avocados.

Risk of bananas as well, high temperatures cause more pests and diseases, and the weather can even become too hot and dry for the fruit.

Finally the coffee. The higher temperatures also spread diseases that affect coffee plantations, such as “coffee cheese”, a fungal disease, the group said. Land at high altitude is also in demand for coffee plants when the temperature gets warmer, which leads to further deforestation, he added.

At this point, Johnson risks going down in history, not as the champion of the “glorious” Brexit but as the one who helped remove the food they loved from the tables of their citizens.


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