Coffee Not Essential For Life

The Swiss government wants to put an end to its emergency stockpile of coffee after declaring that it is "not essential" for human survival.

Switzerland began storing emergency reserves of coffee between World War One and World War Two in preparation for potential shortages.

It continued in subsequent decades to combat shortages sparked by war, natural disasters or epidemics.

It now hopes to end the practice by late 2022. But opposition is mounting.

It currently has 15,300 tonnes saved up - that's enough to last the country three months.

Why stop this?

The government now says coffee is "not essential for life" so doesn't need to be included in the emergency reserves.

"Coffee has almost no calories and subsequently does not contribute, from the physiological perspective, to safeguarding nutrition," the Federal Office for National Economic Supply said (in German).

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