MILAN — The specialty coffee producer Daterra, from Brazil, made a public commitment to increase its CO2 sequestration by 50% until 2030. The producer, who is the only B Corp coffee farm in the world and follows ESG metrics, is already carbon negative. Daterra is now further expanding its contribution to actively mitigate climate changes that jeopardize the very existence of coffee.
According to Isabela Pascoal, Daterra’s Director of Sustainability, agribusiness has a fundamental role in promoting positive impacts on the climate. “Agriculture has been seen as one of the main causes of global warming, but the new regenerative agriculture can be an important part of the solution.”, she says.
“The very nature of the coffee business is based on trees – coffee trees. These plants sequester carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into branches, leaves, and coffee beans. Our agricultural management is designed to improve soil health: not only biodiverse soil grows better coffee, but it is also part of the solution to climate change”, explains Isabela.
Today, 53% of Daterra’s land is exclusively for environmental preservation and more than 340 hectares have already been reforested around the farm, which means more than 610 thousand native trees planted by the company since the beginning of its operations in the Cerrado region of Brazil.
“Wildlife forests coexist with coffee plantations. We made several orchards and ecological corridors for wild animals to live and reproduce. This land is their home, after all.”, says Isabela. The farm’s environmental preservation lands and reforested areas hold up the impressive number of over 1.2 million tons of CO2 equivalent stored within the farm, according to an evaluation performed by Imaflora Institute. “It is a permanent asset, sequestered carbon that is preserved in the form of forests”, adds Isabela.
Daterra produces coffee on 2,800 hectares (6,919 acres) of land, which means 11,7 million coffee trees sequestering carbon as they grow. With this, the company produces 90 thousand bags of carbon-negative coffee, with a carbon credit of – over 40kg of CO2 equivalent for each bag of coffee delivered at the port. Daterra’s Market Development Manager, Gabriel Agrelli, explains that the company has no intention of using carbon as a currency: “More and more companies are beginning to see carbon credits as a valuable product. Daterra is not in the CO2 business. Our challenge is to produce better coffee for the planet and, if that makes us capable of producing carbon credits, this value must be extended to our network of distributors, roasters and coffee shops, as an intrinsic value of our work”.
The World Coffee Research Institute estimates that land suitable for coffee production will be halved by 2050 due to climate change. Daterra believes that companies should act immediately and is putting together a program to offer carbon credits to coffee buyers in its supply chain.
“Coffee roasting produces CO2, which is a concern for our partners. They will be able to use these credits granted by us as a way to offset their emissions. Our goal is to share the value from those credits, helping our coffee distribution chain to be carbon neutral, from seed to cup.” explains Gabriel. Daterra’s carbon neutral coffee chain program will be launched before the end of 2021 and the company expects to have 100% of its direct clients enrolled in the project by 2023.
“Daterra is already a carbon-negative and climate-positive company, but we can do more. The very existence of coffee depends on fighting climate change. We want to help by using a skill that our business has taught us: planting,” adds Isabela.
According to the World Economic Forum, humanity must plant 1 trillion trees in the next decade to combat climate change. “We have made a public commitment to help regenerate Brazilian ecosystems by planting 3 million trees by 2030. This is our contribution to the global climate change mitigation agenda. It is a huge goal, but we will be able to do it in partnership with our clients and the public administration of the cities around our farm”, she explains.
The coffee producer also has big projects related to soil regeneration to increase CO2 sequestration, while improving production and quality. The company will increase its organic compost production and usage by 50% until 2023.
Besides being a B Corp, Daterra was the first Rainforest Alliance certified farm in Brazil and was awarded in 2015 as the most sustainable farm in the country by Globo Rural magazine.