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GIZ Costa Rica, MAG, MINAE and ICAFE sign agreement benefitting 6,000 coffee growers / Efforts of NAMA Café lead to its first certified carbon neutral coffee mill

September 9, 2016
Entry Coffee Mill with Carbon neutral sign
Image: © GIZ Costa Rica

Coffee Mill certified as carbon neutral, Costa Rica

On Friday 9th 2016 Costa Rica celebrated one of its most important agricultural products: Under the patronage of the Ministry for Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) the National Coffee Day was celebrated at its offices in San José, Costa Rica. As part of the festivities, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the MAG, the Ministry for Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the National Coffee Institute (ICAFE) signed an agreement which makes technical and financial resources of more than USD 7 million available, thus benefitting 6,000 farmers across the entire country. In addition, representatives of the NAMA Café congratulated the first coffee mill to be certified as carbon neutral under the guidance of the NAMA Café.

The cooperation between the four institutions will facilitate the management of a total of 25,000 hectares of coffee in Costa Rica under environmentally friendly conditions, as well as help 50 coffee mills reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reach carbon neutrality. The agreement was signed within the context of the Costa Rican Coffee NAMA which is being implemented by MAG, MINAE and ICAFE until 2019. This Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) is the first agricultural and coffee NAMA in the world to be implemented. It aims to support coffee farmers grow and process coffee efficiently and competitively, emit less GHG and become resilient to the effects of climate change. 

The NAMA Facility’s contribution to the Costa Rican Coffee NAMA amounts to EUR 7 million and will promote the intensification of pilot projects already developed in Costa Rica, with support from other donors such as the International Development Bank (IDB) and in coordination with the ICAFE and Fundecooperación para el Desarrollo. The national counterparts MAG, MINAE and ICAFE contribute USD 3.4 million. 

GIZ supports the Coffee NAMA with the NAMA Support Project “Low-Emission Coffee Costa Rica”, offering technical and financial assistance. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the British Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

Coffee mill “El Cántaro” becomes first to be certified as carbon neutral under the scope of NAMA Café

Nestled among the mountains of Naranjo in Costa Rica’s Zona Occidente, lies the coffee processing mill El Cántaro. Its eight employees process 690.000 kg coffee yearly picked from 90 hectares of land. However, El Cántaro not only works hard to process coffee, but also to try and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that develop during the coffee’s processing. This has paid off: Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Felipe Arauz, Vice-Minister Ivannia Quesada, Patricia Campos from the Climate Change Directorate in representation of Edgar Gutiérrez, Minister for Environment and Energy, and Jürgen Popp, director of GIZ Costa Rica, congratulated the mill on reaching carbon neutrality during the celebration of the National Coffee Day, granting the mill the right to carry the official label for being carbon neutral. 

To reduce emissions, El Cántaro amongst other measures installed solar panels to become less dependent on the regular electricity grid, created an outdoor area for drying coffee with sunlight, and exchanged energy-wasting light sources with efficient ones.

The mill’s emission reduction and carbon neutrality was verified by the Costa Rican EARTH University. The EARTH is accredited by the Costa Rican Accreditation Entity (ECA) according to ISO 14065. The official label for carbon neutrality is granted by the MINAE.

Juan Manuel Sánchez, owner of El Cántaro coffee mill, and his family received recognition for their carbon neutral coffee mill.
© GIZ Costa Rica
Representatives of GIZ, MAG, ICAFE and MINAE signed an agreement that will benefit 6.000 coffee farmers.
© GIZ Costa Rica