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Warner Quesada del beneficio Coopesabalito

Warner Quesada Elizondo

Coopesabalito coffee mill

“We are trying to produce at the lowest cost and with the lowest possible contamination.”

How many members do you have?
We have between 1,200 and 1,300 members. 

Do you have liaison for the NAMA Café? How many people are involved?
Due to the fact that the project has just started, this responsibility has not yet been assigned, but in the meantime it would be me. 

What is your interest in participating in the NAMA Café?
We are interested in making our coffee mill, especially the industrial part, more sustainable. Moreover, we seek to produce at the lowest possible cost and least possible contamination. 

What do you understand by Climate Change?
Weather conditions have changed, this is undeniable. So for me, it represents a profound change in the climate. 

Do you think your actions affect the climate?
Yes, of course, to a small part. Our mill makes an effort to reduce its impact by reintroducing organic waste to the environment in form of organic fertilizers. However, it has to be considered that our ovens produce smoke and high temperatures, constituting emissions. 

Which sources of greenhouse gases do you know from the coffee sector?
That is a good question. Both ovens and lagoons are two sources. 

Do you know the expression of “carbon footprint”?
Yes, I heard about it. I understand that it comprises the quantity of emissions which are generated by an entity. It is the measure to quantify the greenhouse gases which are produced, reflecting the impact we generate on the environment. 

Do you know someone who is affected by Climate Change? 
I think that the whole world is affected. We see it clearly in the productive sectors. Sometimes, we are surprised by the decrease in production which occurred during the last years and one reason is Climate Change. Weather conditions have been different than usual, with long and intense summers and hard winters. It means that conditions have changed significantly compared to the past. 

Is your job vulnerable to Climate Change?
Indirectly or directly we are affected by the impact Climate Change has on coffee production. New plagues and diseases occur, such as the coffee rust. 

Do you think it is necessary to take preventive measures at this moment? If yes, describe these measures. 
Yes, of course. We should burn less firewood, try to improve waste water treatment and energy consumption, in short: use less resources. 

Do you know the Costa Rican government´s strategy for reaching carbon neutrality? What do you think about it? 
It is a real challenge. We are in 2016 and to achieve carbon neutrality until 2021 there are still lots of things to be done quickly. Especially major companies that generate a high number of greenhouse gas emissions have to act. The technology already exists; however, the resources in this country are limited. Everything is mainly a financial issue, for example in the coffee industry, which is a relatively unstable business, the same instability could possibly limit the carbon neutrality initiative. 

Which adaptation and mitigation actions do you know regarding Climate Change in the Costa Rican coffee sector?
The first one is the NAMA Café project. Climate Change receives high public interest and is covered on television and in commercials, but until now I actually see concrete mitigation actions. Moreover, as a coffee producer I see that in some colleagues still follow the same old pattern, whereas others have tried to make important changes. Maybe these changes did not emerge from their own knowledge or initiative; however, they make a significant contribution through planting trees on farms or waste water treatment. In reality, industries are responsible for generating major impacts on the environment. Some companies claim to be carbon neutral, such as Coopedota – I hope that more companies will follow this initiative in the future. 

How does your institution contribute to climate and environmental protection?
In the field of the cooperative, we look forward to establishing agroforestry systems. In addition, we aim extract resources from these same farms, such as firewood for our ovens. Moreover, we want to artificial, sustainable forests, a project we have launched on a farm. in order to avoid the use of wood originated from primary and secondary forests. We implemented these control measures to use wood from local coffee plantations. 

July 2016