Make sure you’re sitting down as you read this, as the worst thing possible has been revealed. Britain is at risk of a major tea shortage. Climate change and extreme weather changes are threatening stocks of tea in India, Sri Lanka, China and Kenya.
These countries produce over half of the tea drank in the UK, so could be a cause for concern to us Brits. Charity Christian Aid reported that Kenya is set to have more rainfall than usual – which could cause floods and droughts. Excess rain can affect the quality of the tea leaves.
In the UK we drink more brew per person than any other country in the world, so us Yorkshire folk are a little nervous about the news.
Richard Koskei, 72, a tea farmer from Kericho in Kenya’s Western Highlands, said: “We are proud that the tea that we grow here is the best in the world but climate change poses a real threat to us.
“We cannot predict seasons anymore, temperatures are rising, rainfall is more erratic, more often accompanied by unusual hailstones and longer droughts.
“If this continues then it will make growing tea much harder and life for us extremely difficult.
“This needs a joint effort from developed countries who enjoy our tea abroad, and richer countries need to cut their emissions.”
And research from Kenya has found that climate change could destroy the conditions needed to produce tea by as much as 26 per cent by 2050.
Other areas are exhibiting more average growing conditions expecting a tea production fall of as much as 39 per cent by the same date.
Dr Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s climate policy lead, said: “This year the UK Government has a key role in overseeing the global response to the climate emergency.
“As host of both the G7 in June and the Cop26 climate summit in November, the UK can ensure that countries on the front line of this crisis can adapt and respond to the impacts of climate change.”
Fiachra Moloney, of PG Tips maker Unilever, said: “The climate crisis affects people all over the world.
“In East Africa, where so much of our tea comes from, climate change is putting the livelihoods of the people at risk.”
But, as us good ol’ Yorkshire folk say “It’ll be reyt”