With a focus on promoting deforestation-free coffee supply chains while rewarding farmers, Dutch tech startup Carble has closed a more than $300,000 funding round.
According to an announcement from the Noordwijk-based company this week, the investment will be used to bring Carble’s first product to market.
As DCN first reported last year, Carble is taking a novel approach to tackling deforestation in the coffee sector by using satellite technology to track land-use changes and calculate carbon sequestration, then working with roasters to reward coffee farmers financially for maintaining or enhancing forest lands.
The approach leans on the concept of “carbon insetting” as a means to combat climate change, as opposed to the popular corporate sustainable strategy of carbon offsetting.
“Eight of the 10 largest coffee brands and all major cocoa brands have announced their goals to significantly reduce their negative impact on the climate,” Carble Co-Founder Sander Reuderink said in an announcement of the investment. “Yet there are no solutions that effectively reduce deforestation and address poverty amongst farmers — two of the largest sustainability challenges that these brands face.”
Along with agricultural products such as rubber and cacao, coffee is a well-documented driver of tropical forest loss, while global coffee demand is expected by all accounts to increase over the next century.
Carble, meanwhile, says it wants to help coffee roasting brands “decarbonize” their supply chains. The company’s proprietary software processes satellite data using a machine-learning algorithm to collect carbon storage data on agroforestry coffee farms, i.e. coffee farms that maintain trees or forests systems alongside coffee plants.
The company plans to then present the data to coffee companies so they can appropriately financially reward producers for deforestation-free farming efforts.
The $300,000 funding round was led by the globally operating early-stage investment firm Antler and included investments and grants from the German government’s GIZ Coffee Innovation Fund and the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre.
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