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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
16 februari 2008

Brazilian coffee husks for Dutch biomass project

still from the Essent commercial All the farmers involved in the scheme are certified in accordance with international standards such as Utz Certified and Max Havelaar. Together they will become joint-owners of the export company Fair Biomass Brazil BV. The Dutch DOEN Foundation is supporting the project financially.

The usual objections against the use of biofuels don’t apply to coffee husks, says Solidaridad’s BramVerkerke. “As agricultural residues, coffee husks do not compete with food provision or animal feed chains and do not require any extra land usage. The great part of the husks is valueless in Brazil, so usually they get left behind rotting at the processing factories, producing methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas. Although only a minority of the farmers use coffee husks for mulching, there were some concerns among the farmers that exporting them might cause a decrease of soil fertility. But research has shown that other organic materials, like leafs and twigs of the coffee shrubs, clippings and artificial fertilizer are far more important for soil fertility. ”

In order to diversify and spread the risk for the coffee farmers Solidaridad is searching for more buyers of coffee husks.

According to the Brazilian based website Agribulk Commodities (www.agribulk.com.br), the price paid by Essent is US $ 160 per tonne coffee husk pellets. The price for the raw material would be $ 28 per tonne. P+ Webtip: Brasilian coffee husks for Essent

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