Coffee plantations in the Cerrado Mineiro region in Brazil have produced negative carbon emissions equivalent to one hectare per year, according to a study from the Institute of Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (Imaflora).
The institute assessed 20 properties associated with the Cerrado Coffee Growers’ Cooperative (Expocacer) using the Carbon On Track service platform, an Imaflora program designed to raise the profile of low-carbon Brazilian agriculture and forest restoration on the climate agenda. It reported a negative emissions figure of -0.2 ton of carbon dioxide.
This occurs when carbon sequestration from the soil and plants is greater than emissions, and by analysing the emission estimates from the farms.
“The carbon balance carried out in partnership with Imaflora showcases the sustainable work that our members have been doing for over 10 years. We’re moving forward together, towards an increasingly sustainable, low-emission coffee plantation,” says Expocacer Technical Coordinator for Sustainability Farlla Gomes.
The use of organic fertilisers and vegetable waste used on the analysed farms was a positive factor in mitigating greenhouse gases, to the detriment of adding chemical nitrogen.
According to the survey, other relevant aspects to be considered are increased energy efficiency in the use of machinery, which can be achieved with improved process traceability and georeferenced technology, contributing to the reduction of diesel, man/machine ratio, and soil compaction.
“In the coffee sector, the emphasis remains: farms with more sustainable agricultural techniques are not only able to reduce their emissions, but also contribute to carbon sequestration,” says Alessandro Rodrigues, Projects and Services Coordinator for Imaflora’s Climate and Emissions area.
The study also points out that the use of sustainable practices in the Cerrado Mineiro region helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long term, as they tend to improve soil quality and reduce the use of external inputs such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and glyphosate.
“Our intention is to promote real sustainability, in line with our purpose of inspiring, fostering and nurturing cutting-edge coffee growing linked to impact,” says Expocacer Managing Director Simão Pedro de Lima.
“We understand that the market is increasingly demanding and that we have to meet and accompany the movement towards a healthy environment. To this end, we have an exclusive department for sustainability issues, where we also guide and encourage good practices among our members.”