Innovative UK technology deployed in a project backed by ECGD will allow a Costa Rican coffee co-operative to recycle its own waste instead of burning local timber to roast its beans.

John Gordon Ltd, a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) based in Maldon, Essex, has designed low-emission burners that use coffee bean husks from previous batches as fuel, rather than wood from local forests. The burners are now en route to the CoopeDota, a co-operative of 700 farming families set up in 1960 and based in the mountain village of Santa Maria de Dota, one hour’s drive south of the Costa Rican capital, San Jose.

The US$220,000 project was underwritten with an ECGD finance facility, arranged by Barclays Bank.

Andrew Springett, of John Gordon Ltd, says: “The co-op previously had to buy in timber to power its dryers. By converting their existing drying system and introducing the new plant, we are eliminating CoopeDota’s need to use local timber. We initially sold equipment to CoopeDota two years ago and they turned to us again when they decided they needed an upgrade. The outcome of this latest project is a burner that is both efficient and environmentally friendly.”