Brazilian coffee farm becomes carbon positive

coffee farm carbon positive

The Santo Antonio, Pinhal, Vertentes, and Mirante farms of Brazilian coffee producers Pedro and Mariana Gabarra have received Carbon Positive status, following a year-long third party assessment and audit of the farm’s carbon emissions.

Carbon positive or ‘free carbon’ means the farms remove more CO2 form the atmosphere than they generate.

“The path we’ve been following for some years, which is to pursue an increasingly sustainable production, is working and bringing good results,” Pedro says.

Pinhal was named the most sustainable farm in Brazil for 2019 by Globo Rural, a respected agricultural publication. To reduce emissions across their farms, the Gabarras use S10 Diesel across their entire vehicle fleet, implemented solar panels to generate clean every, and control and treat liquid waste.

The Wings Project furthers this commitment to the environment. According to Pedro and Mariana, the region is the target of animal traffickers, who cruelly capture animals and smuggle them to other countries, resulting in the suffering and death of 90 per cent of animals captured.

The Wings project rehabilitates up to 250 birds every month, as well as mammals and reptiles. Environmental police apprehend these animals, and after being accessed by veterinarians, are sent to the Pinhal farm for recovery.

The total removal of CO2 was mainly achieved through areas planted with eucalyptus responsible for offsetting 84.42 per cent of emissions.

Existing native forests on Pedro’s land were the second largest source of carbon offset, at 10.92 per cent of the total. In Brazil, it is a legal requirement that coffee farmers preserve at least 20 per cent of natural forestation. Across his four farms, Pedro preserves more than 40 per cent.

Pedro’s coffee plantations were responsible for the remaining 4.66 per cent of carbon offset.

“The idea is to start with small changes then move to larger ones. The first step is to change the mindset in the search for sustainable production,” Pedro says. “Do what is within your reach, in individual and collective attitudes. Then seek partnerships for solutions and be attentive and open for changes.”

Pedro Gabarra’s coffee is available in Australia through Minas Hill Coffee. Mariana Pugliese of Minas Hill Coffee says Pedro’s certification reaffirms why the trader has chosen to partner with the progressive farmer.

“Its important in our industry to make connections that promote transparency, traceability, and sustainability. We’re not only supporting Pedro because his coffee tastes great, but because his values are aligned with ours,” Mariana says. “We’ve seen many Australian roasters work to become carbon neutral and it’s reassuring to see people around the world do the same for their coffee business. Minimising emissions is how we can advance and secure our industry for the future.”

Pedro adds that Australian coffee businesses can support farms and producers at origin to improve their carbon footprints by supporting and recognising those that embrace sustainability and traceability.

“Differentiate those producers who work seriously and not only analyse the price of the product,” he says.

“Coffee roasters and cafés can create awareness to the final consumer, so they know exactly where their coffee comes from and value the work being done behind the scenes.

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