Tuesday 23 July 2024
  • La Cimbali

Costa Rica, zero-deforestation coffee for Europe and Italy leads the way

The coffee, exported as part of this pilot project, came from the Los Santos area, Costa Rica’s main production centre located in the province of San José, in the centre-south area of the country, where it was grown by 69 small producers belonging to the Cooperativa de Caficultores de Tarrazú – CoopeTarrazú). With 4,500 producers, it is the country’s largest coffee exporter to Europe, to which it allocates a quarter of its production

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ROME, Italy – With the entry into force of a new regulation, starting in 2025, the import of cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rubber, soya and wood from deforested land will be banned in (EU’s markets. Although other South American countries, such as Ecuador, Paraguay and Bolivia, have called these rules discriminatory to trade, Costa Rica has decided to embrace the new European regulations, focusing on producing “zero deforestation” coffee.

A move that has seen Italy – the EU’s second largest exporter behind Germany – become this year, through the Illy Caffè brand, the destination of the first 275 bags (18,975 kilograms) of Costa Rican coffee produced without causing the loss of forest cover in the country.

The coffee, exported as part of this pilot project, came from the Los Santos area, Costa Rica’s main production centre located in the province of San José, in the centre-south area of the country, where it was grown by 69 small producers belonging to the Cooperativa de Caficultores de Tarrazú – CoopeTarrazú). With 4,500 producers, it is the country’s largest coffee exporter to Europe, to which it allocates a quarter of its production.

In accordance with the requirements of lawfulness and zero deforestation, which will be imposed by the regulation from next year in order to be in a position to export to European markets, the farmers involved in the project have been trained to fulfil the due diligence systems required to allow buyers to have access to product information, including traceability through monitoring data and geolocalisation of the plots of land used to grow coffee.

This information shall also be supported by computer tools that compare current satellite images with those prior to 31 December 2020 to identify any changes in the soil.

For years, Costa Rica has multiplied initiatives to promote sustainable agricultural practices, including the NAMA Café (Acciones de Mitigación Nacionalmente Apropiadas) and the initiative Agropaisajes Sostenibles.

With specific reference to the fight against deforestation, in addition to the Programa de Pago por Servicios Ambientales (PSA) that incentivises landowners not to deforest their land, Costa Rica has invested almost USD 800 million in recent years to increase its forest cover by more than 30%.

Exports of agricultural products to the European market are responsible for 16% of global deforestation.

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