News » 50 coffee mills initiate carbon and water footprint measuring in 2017


In 2017, the 50 coffee mills participating in the Costa Rican Coffee NAMA will receive trainings in calculating their respective carbon and water footprints. More than 36 mills participated in the Welcome and Follow-Up Workshop at Starbucks´ Hacienda Alsacia in the foothills of Poás Volcano organized by the National Coffee Institute (ICAFE), the Ministry for Agriculture (MAG) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The workshop, which took place on February 24th 2017 at the Producer Support Center in Starbucks´ Hacienda Alsacia, kicked off with a warm welcome by Mr. Ronald Peters, Executive Director of the National Coffee Institute (ICAFE), and Ms. Sandra Spies, Director of the NAMA Support Project "Low-Carbon Coffee Costa Rica" (NSP), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Ms. Spies presented the project’s results and highlighted its achievements in 2016. In this year, the Coffee NAMA will work with 50 coffee mills in total, of which 36 attended the event.

Capacity development in carbon and water footprint measuring

The 12 coffee mills that joined the initiative in 2017 received an introduction to the NAMA Café de Costa Rica and its objectives by Luis Zamora from the MAG. They were then presented with the first stage of the process to which the newcomers will be dedicated to during the course of this year: They will be trained in the measurement of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated during coffee processing and then calculate their respective carbon footprints. These mills will receive assistance throughout the process from ICAFE and GIZ. The 24 advanced coffee mills have successfully measured their carbon footprint in 2016 and will focus on their water footprint in 2017. During the workshop they were introduced to the basics of how to carry out this measurement.

Collaboration with coffee producers 

In 2017, one main focus lies on working closely with the coffee producers affiliated to coffee mills. 60 % of GHG emissions are generated on coffee farms, making producers the foundation of the system. The implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) directly increases the productivity of farms and reduces GHG emissions. The NSP aims to reach 6,000 producers on 25,000 hectares, applying at least two GAPs until 2019. In addition, a working session with the Costa Rican Association for Fine Coffees will aim to strengthen the groups of coffee producers that deliver coffee to mills, offer the opportunity to co-create a tailor-made market and support in the development of a coffee sales strategy. More than 25 coffee mills have signed up for participating in the working session.

Financing options for low-emission technologies

Part of the event was dedicated to the presentation of future financing options for the implementation of low-emission projects and technologies in coffee mills. The NAMA Credit Fund is expected to be launched in the middle of 2017 with a volume of US $ 10 million at low interest rates and credit terms of 10 years maximum. The fund will be managed by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and national banks. Projects funded must meet requirements such as reduction of GHG emissions, water use or energy use by 5%. 13 coffee mills have indicated interest in receiving more information about the financial advice offered by the NAMA Support Project.

Certification for carbon neutral coffee mills

Finally, the option to receive a certification as a carbon-neutral coffee mill was presented by the Costa Rican Institute for Technical Standards (INTECO), a representative of ISO standards in Costa Rica and authorized to certify the carbon-neutrality of a company. The mills received information on the steps to follow and the costs included to obtain said certification. As an example of Best Practice the El Cantaro coffee mill was mentioned, which was certified as a carbon-neutral coffee mill last year.


Fotos of the event can be found in the foto gallery