Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Solar-powered Coffee Processing

At the Yoro Processing Center in Honduras, a ground-breaking initiative is taking place: the world's first solar-powered green coffee processing mill. "The Yoro processing center is 'off-grid' in that it generates its own electricity, and allows local farmers through their coop to not only process but also to export their harvest directly to the world's specialty coffee market." -Peter Friedland of Coffee Talk

Managed by women and operated by youth of the community, the initiative of COMISUYL coop is gaining attention as a new model of sustainability. The center is able to dry coffee without burning wood from tropical forests. Additionally, the solar energy plant is backed up with other renewable energy made from an indigenous tree, Jatropha Curcas. 
Jatropha oil extraction 
The solar dryer is the result of a  partnership between the Mesoamerican Development Institute in Massachusetts and the COMISUYL coop. Cafe Solar coffee is now the official coffee of the UMass Lowell campus.

These new initiatives are shaping the future of sustainable harvesting and economic development. 

Read more about off-grid coffee processing here