Noordwijk, The Netherlands, December 14, 2021
Dutch climate technology startup Carble wins prestigious ‘Copernicus Masters’ The Netherlands award for its innovative space-based approach to reducing deforestation and poverty in the coffee sector.
Dutch startup Carble wins prestigious ‘Copernicus Masters’ The Netherlands award for its innovative work on reducing the coffee sector’s impact on the climate and poverty among small-scale coffee farmers with a single intervention. The Copernicus Masters is the global innovation competition at the forefront of Earth observation data utilization, initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission and the German Aerospace Center.
Of the world’s twelve million small-scale coffee farmers, 44% live in poverty and 22% in
extreme poverty. At the same time, industrial coffee farming contributes heavily to climate change. Land-use change, especially deforestation, makes up almost half of the carbon footprint of a bag of coffee. Coffee can also contribute positively to the fight against climate change. In countries like Ethiopia, small-scale farmers grow coffee under the shade of the forest canopy without the use of chemical fertilisers. Coffee forests can store 94% of the amount of carbon stored in natural forests. Sadly, there is no financial incentive for keeping these forests in-tact, and as a result of their low incomes, farmers cut down the forest and switch to more lucrative crops – that do not come with the same ecosystem co-benefits.
Carble’s technology helps coffee brands reduce their carbon footprint by rewarding coffee farmers for the carbon they store in forest canopies in a measurable, scalable and cost-effective way. Carble uses an innovative technology based on satellite-data from Copernicus (the European Union’s Earth Observation programme) to accurately estimate the amount of carbon stored by thousands of small-scale farmers, to allow the buyers of their coffee to reward farmers for carbon storage and to include the resulting emissions-reduction in their carbon-footprint calculations.
“We are extremely grateful for the recognition that we have received from the European space community, and see this as a further motivation of the importance of our work: ensuring that coffee production benefits all people in the sector, while remaining within the limits of the planet”Sander Reuderink, Carble’s CEO and co-founder.
By 2030 Carble aims to generate one billion dollars in extra income for one million small-scale farmers. Carble is being supported by the German Government’s “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)” and is a participant in the European Space Agency’s Space “Business Incubation Centre”.