In February 2017, the NAMA Support Project “Low-Carbon Coffee Costa Rica” (NSP) celebrated one year of implementation: Important achievements from 2016 are several trainings for coffee mills involving the measuring of their carbon footprint as well as a tour to Germany to promote Costa Rican coffee. In 2017, the project will focus on working closely with coffee producers to increase farm productivity and continue to support coffee mills to successfully promote their one-of-a-kind coffee abroad.
After its first year of implementation, the NAMA Support Project “Low-Carbon Coffee Costa Rica” (NSP) has already reached quite a few milestones. In September 2016, the implementing partners Ministry for Environment and Energy (MINAE), Ministry for Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), National Coffee Institute (ICAFE) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH signed an agreement that provides financial resources of more than US$ 7 million, with the purpose of reaching a total of 50 coffee mills and 6,000 coffee producers on 25,000 hectares of coffee throughout the country by 2019.
Throughout the past year, more than 600 coffee producers were trained in the concepts of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and improved resource management on coffee farms. 250 extension workers and technicians from MAG and ICAFE, who provide advisory services to coffee producers and mills, and several coffee mills, were trained on topics such as knowledge transfer, gender equity in the agro sector, climate change and emission reduction measures. In addition, 34 coffee mills from all over the country learned to measure their greenhouse gas emissions generated during coffee processing and calculate their respective carbon footprints.
A group of selected coffee mills participated in a tour to Germany in September 2016 to meet with manufacturers and suppliers of the German coffee industry, as well as local coffee roasters to negotiate future collaborations. The larger mills focused on acquiring new technology, such as a compost turner from BACKHUS acquired by Coopetarrazú. Small and micro-mills took the opportunity to present and sell their low-carbon coffee to German toasters.
For 2017 the NAMA Support Project has set several milestones and goals: To help coffee producers invest in sustainable small-scale technologies and adopt climate-friendly practices in their farms and mills, a support fund will be launched. This NAMA Credit Fund will be administered by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and disbursed in collaboration with national financial institutions.
Several workshops for capacity building will be offered to producers and mills alike: Producers involved in the Coffee NAMA will receive training and advisory services on proper farm management, pests and diseases, as well as how shade trees and different soils improve productivity and minimize the impacts of climate change. The 34 coffee mills that are already trained in the measurement of their carbon footprint will in a second step tackle their mills´ water footprints. 16 new coffee mills will initiate the process by learning how to perform greenhouse gas inventories.
A second tour to Germany to establish business contacts and promote Costa Rican coffee will be offered to interested coffee mills. In order to successfully promote their coffee abroad, trainings designated to develop or improve marketing and sales skills will be provided prior to the trip. In addition, a market study will be conducted to find a second country apart from Germany interested in low-emission coffee from Costa Rica. Due to a growing interest of the international market in an exclusive coffee with unique selling points, the NSP will increase efforts in its work with micro-mills, for example to develop a means to facilitate the export of coffee in small quantities.