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Coffee Facing Its Own Pandemic In Latin America




Coffee producer Adrian Hernandez looks at a plant infested with the coffee-eating fungus roya, at his farm in Altamira, Costa Rica.
Coffee producer Adrian Hernandez looks at a plant infested with the coffee-eating fungus roya, at his farm in Altamira, Costa Rica.
EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images

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We are no strangers to viral diseases affecting our daily lives, but as the world fights COVID-19 there is another battle that may affect your daily routine.

According to an article by the Atlantic, the production of coffee has dropped drastically due to a viral fungi known as “rust,” having destroyed countless crops all over Latin America.

Despite a country like Guatemala housing over 100,000 of the world’s coffee producers, the lack of government assistance has made the effects of rust much more painful for poor farmers who are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain themselves during this coffee pandemic.

Today on AirTalk, we take a look Latin American coffee producers and how their struggles against rust fungus will have major implications for consumers of the beloved beverage all over the world. 

Guests:

Chuck Jones, founder and owner, Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena who operates a five-generation coffee farm in Guatemala

Mary Catherine Aime, professor of mycology and director of the Purdue University Herbaria, which studies and collects over 200,000 living organisms including plants and fungi