In-house climate protection project to reduce CO2
Cooperation with Dutch startup reNature and Flowins from Brazil
Scalable to 2,800 hectares for up to 5,000 tonnes of green coffee
Rebecca Steinhage: "We want to link economic and ecological coffee cultivation with clear prospects for local people"
Soil plays a key role as a carbon sink in achieving the 1.5°C climate target set by the UN. However, soil quality is suffering worldwide due to monocultures, i.e. the cultivation of only one type of crop over several years. Regenerative approaches, however, preserve biodiversity, help restore ecosystems and improve soil health. Miele, as a supplier of coffee and fully automatic coffee machines, is taking it from there and starting sustainable coffee cultivation in Brazil. With this move, the company, which already sources organic and fair-trade coffee through its supplier, is taking the next strategic step towards further reducing CO2 and increasing biodiversity.
Together with the startup reNature, founded in Amsterdam in 2018, and the Brazil-based project group Flowins, Miele is helping to set up a model farm covering around two hectares in Santana da Vargem, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The aim is to support local coffee producers with cultivation methods that improve coffee quality, restore polluted soil and take the strain off the climate by binding CO2 in the soil. In the first step, Miele has invested a high five-digit amount in euros. Following a successful test phase at the end of 2023, a further financial investment is planned.
"With this project, we want to link economic and ecological coffee cultivation with clear prospects for locals," says Rebecca Steinhage, member of Miele's Executive Board with responsibility for sustainability, among others.
“Did you know that if we continue to grow coffee in monocultures, we might run out of coffee by 2050? By growing regenerative agroforestry coffee we can restore soil health, biodiversity, the carbon cycle and improve farmers' income and livelihoods. The partnership between reNature and Miele will reshape the future of coffee. Let's regenerate”, says Felipe Villela, CIO at reNature.
“As a team, we have successfully implemented a wonderful design incorporating regenerative and syntropic principles at the Flowins farm. This model farm will now serve as a site for capacity building sessions to equip farmers in the local region with the knowledge and tools they need to incorporate these practices on their own plots. This learning platform, coupled with Flowins' vast grower network, serves as the perfect basis to scale this knowledge and create real impact”, says Emily Franklin, Senior Project Manager at reNature.
Upscaling regenerative coffee cultivation
The Flowins team is working with reNature to create replicable coffee cultivation practices that not only preserve soil micro-organisms but also provide a reliable source of income for local people. After the pilot phase of the regenerative cultivation practices, the results are to be transferred to a model school in order to involve as many production partners in the region as possible. The Flowins farm covers a total area of 80 hectares, about half of which consists of coffee plantations. The entire Flowins community in eastern Brazil is much larger: it covers an area of around 5,900 hectares, 2,800 of which are used for coffee cultivation. In total, more than 5,000 tonnes of green coffee could be produced there, which corresponds to about 84,000 sacks of coffee weighing 60 kg each, which in turn corresponds to the annual consumption of about one million consumers in Germany. "Our strategic consideration is to be able to offer our customers coffee that comes almost entirely from our own production and at the same time meets our strict quality and sustainability criteria," says Dirk Schübel, Vice President Accessories and Consumables at Miele. The company already purchases coffee from its supplier which sports both the fairtrade and the organic seal.
Knowledge transfer at eye level
Another goal of the joint project is the mutual transfer of knowledge. Miele, reNature and Flowins demonstrate the ecologically valuable interplay between soil and coffee quality and communicate this to local coffee producers. To this end, Flowins will use its extensive network of producers to raise awareness of regenerative practices in the community and implement them throughout the region. The knowledge gained about regenerative agroforestry coffee farming - from implementation to farm management and marketing - will also create an important foundation in the local community for future generations.
Important contribution to CO2 reduction
The project offers another important advantage: Miele currently purchases a certain number of CO2 certificates on the open market to compensate for unavoidable CO2 emissions in Scopes 1 and 2. In the long term, Miele's ecological commitment in Brazil will mean that it will have to buy fewer and fewer certificates on the open market, generating them instead from its own resources.
Background: Regenerative agriculture
Regenerative agriculture is a system of principles and agricultural practices in which building soil fertility and regenerating ecosystems has the highest priority. It considers natural systems in their entirety and complexity. Its practices are carried out in cooperation with Nature. Furthermore, it empowers farmers to resume their own observations and analyses, thus enabling greater self-belief. To achieve its goals in the regenerative transition, the project rests on six pillars:
- Soil health and fertility (improvement of organic soil matter, the macro/micro-nutrients and biological quality of the soil and increased productivity, achieving healthier, more fertile soil to support a productive and resilient ecosystem)
- Biodiversity (increased diversity of flora and fauna, providing a better balance in the ecosystem, increased resilience to pests and diseases)
- Water (enhanced access to water, protected water-related ecosystems)
- Economic impact (impacts on profitability, productivity, mitigation/adaptation to climate change, diversification, employment)
- Social impact (improved working conditions)
- Carbon sequestration (reduction of CO2 and GHG emissions, soil organic carbon)
About Miele: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. Their product portfolio also includes dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications. Founded in 1899, the company has eight production plants in Germany, one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland as well as two production plants belonging to its Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Sales in the 2022 business year amounted to around € 5.43 bn. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries/regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 23,300, of which approx. 11,900 employees work in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.
Miele launches regenerative coffee project with reNature in Brazil. A project worker examines a coffee seedling on the plantation. (Photo: reNature)
|High Resolution JPG|
Miele launches regenerative coffee project with reNature in Brazil. Coffee seedlings before planting on the farm (Photo: reNature)
|High Resolution JPG|
Miele launches regenerative coffee project with reNature in Brazil. A tractor at work on the plantation in the state of Minas Gerais. (Photo: reNature)
|High Resolution JPG|