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The Country Is Officially Facing A National Tea Shortage

Joanna Freedman

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| Last updated 

The Country Is Officially Facing A National Tea Shortage

Featured Image Credit: PA

Britain is at risk of a major tea shortage, it has been revealed.

The extreme changes in weather, brought on as a result of climate change, are threatening to destroy stocks of tea in India, Sri Lanka, China and Kenya.

Seeing as these countries produce as much as half of the black tea drunk in this country, this could wreak havoc on our tea stock, as a result.

A report from the charity Christian Aid has found that Kenya - which is the world's biggest exporter of tea - is set to have more rainfall then usual, causing floods, droughts and ever increasing temperatures.

These changes could also affect the quality of the tea on offer, experts claim, as excess rain is set to produce worse quality leaves.

The tea farms are facing extreme changes to their conditions (Credit: Shutterstock)
The tea farms are facing extreme changes to their conditions (Credit: Shutterstock)

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."

In the UK and Ireland, we drink more cuppas per person that any other countries in the world.

Tea farms' conditions could directly affect the taste of stock, too (Credit: Shutterstock)
Tea farms' conditions could directly affect the taste of stock, too (Credit: Shutterstock)

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."

The tea shortage is a crisis for brew loving Brits (Credit: Shutterstock)
The tea shortage is a crisis for brew loving Brits (Credit: Shutterstock)

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."

Better make ourselves a cuppa while we still can....

Topics: Tasty Drink, Food & Drink, Tasty

Joanna Freedman
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