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In the small town of Santa Maria de Dota, at the centre of the coffee growers of Tarrazu that contribute to it, is the coffee processing mill and facilities belonging to Coope Dota. Established back in 1960, they currently represent around 900 small growers and hold the title as the first coffee processor in the world to be certified as carbon neutral, back in 2011.
This for them covers not just their immediate operations – they own and operate their own roastery and shops that sell what their members will need, returning extra money to the cooperative- and these too all contribute to the carbon footprint they measure. Even the transportation of the sold coffee to the ports is covered. In order to mitigate their impact, they produce a rich compost from their coffee waste, use parchment to fuel the driers (that were specifically built for them for this purpose), and should there be a need, buy carbon credits to get them over the line.
In order to reduce the need for this, they select a project each year that will target an area and further drive down their carbon impact, with the aim of becoming completely self reliant in offsetting their carbon footprint.
Coope Dota’s General Manager, Luis Madrigal, oversees operations that encompass both a community mill for the larger lots, and a micro mill for the higher scoring lots or the experimental, low volume lots they produce. These can be from individual farmers or from the experimental ‘laboratory’ farm, El Cedral.
2020 saw a more hands off approach with the impacts of Covid-19. The attention switched to more diligence in the picking, and quality has risen for the 2021 harvest. Flowering and drying periods have intersected though, and so attention is already on how this will impact the harvest for 2022.
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