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Costa Rica’s Aquiares Estate ships first EUDR-compliant coffee to Europe

The coffee farm has been working with non-profit sustainability auditor Enveritas to ensure compliance with the incoming EU deforestation regulations 

A Google Earth image of Aquiares Estate in Costa Rica with crop detection overlay | Photo credits: Base image: Google Earth; overlay: Enveritas 

Costa Rica’s Aquiares Estate coffee farm has exported the first coffee to Europe which is compliant with the EU Regulation on Deforestation-free products (EUDR), non-profit sustainability auditor Enveritas has confirmed. 

Aquiares Estate’s first EUDR-compliant coffee container was shipped to Barcelona-based specialty roaster Nomad Coffee, which has purchased coffee from the coffee farm since 2016. 

Founded in 1890, Aquiares Estate is the largest Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farm in Costa Rica and currently exports specialty coffee to over 20 countries globally.  

Incoming EUDR rules mean businesses importing products linked to deforestation, including coffee, cocoa and soy, must prove goods have not contributed to deforestation after 31 December 2020 – and face hefty fines for non-compliance.

In a press release, Aquiares Estate said it ‘proactively sought’ Enveritas’ expertise to maintain important trade relations with Europe. 

“We foresee no issues with any future exports to the European Union and can now guarantee to all our key clients that our coffee is and will continue to be deforestation free,” the coffee farm said in a statement.

Using satellite imagery, Enveritas assessed Aquiares Estate’s 620 hectares of shade-grown coffee and 200 hectares of protected forests and found no evidence forest land conversion to coffee cultivation after 31 December 2020. 

“Costa Rica has been a global exemplar of environmental conservation and Aquiares Estate stands as a beacon of sustainable coffee production within the country. We are proud to support environmentally responsible coffee estates like Aquiares in meeting the rigorous standards set forth by the new EU regulation,” said David Browning, CEO, Enveritas. 

Coffee is one of Costa Rica’s largest exports, with the US accounting for 40% of trade. However, Europe is also a major export market, with Belgium, Switzerland and Germany the next three highest importers of Costa Rican coffee, with trade valued in 2022 at $71.7m, $50m and $20.4m respectively. 

New York-based Enveritas works with prominent coffee brands, includin Tchibo, JDE Peet’s, Blue Bottle Coffee, Counter Culture, Dunkin’, Espresso House, Origin Coffee and Tim Hortons, and has verified sustainable practices at more than 200,000 coffee farms globally to-date against its sustainability standards. 

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