Sustainable Management Verification
Multinational food and beverage companies are now more dedicated than ever to ensuring that the food they source and support is produced sustainably, with positive impacts on the environment.
ECOM, a world-leading soft commodity services group specializing in coffee, cocoa, and cotton, is at the forefront of verifying regenerative agriculture. In close collaboration with Costa Rican coffee growers, the company has taken significant strides toward implementing responsible farming practices.
To achieve this objective, working closely with farm operators to enhance the sustainability of their activities is crucial. As a result, ECOM Costa Rica handpicked 100 of the most innovative coffee growers from Costa Rica to adopt these practices over the past two years. Some of the introduced regenerative practices include the use of biostimulants, organic amendments, cover crops, and adopting shade farming to enhance sunlight efficiency, among other sustainable techniques.
To assess and prove the effectiveness of regenerative practices, ECOM Costa Rica sought the expertise of its agronomic solutions provider, DISAGRO®, utilizing its digital agriculture platform AgritecGEO®. Until now, there hasn't been a reliable metric to scientifically measure the impact of regenerative agricultural practices, but DISAGRO® proposed the BeCrop® Rate as a solution. BeCrop® Rate, a Biome Makers solution, monitored the evolution of 100 coffee fields across Costa Rica, averaging 20 hectares in size, validating the soil health status and improvements.
BeCrop® Rate utilizes advanced scientific methodologies, BeCrop® technology's ecological computing using artificial intelligence, and the largest global taxonomic database of 14M microorganisms to decode the soil microbial networks and assess the impact of the farmer's interventions by crop and region. It is the only metric validated by the scientific community and tested globally across 180+ different crops measuring, verifying, and improving sustainability.
The BeCrop® Rate provided ECOM Costa Rica Farms with soil health metrics to track changes over time, including improvements in below ground biodiversity, crop yield, and carbon sequestration. The different farms were evaluated and rated from C to A, reflecting the level of intelligence applied to soil health management practices. Coffee growers can now utilize these ratings to ensure that effective soil health management practices are consistently being implemented across all their farming locations. This not only underscores their adoption of best farming practices but also supports their commitment to sustainability.
The deliverables of BeCrop® Rate include a BeCrop® Rate Certificate, a QR code to connect to the BeCrop® Rate platform providing access to key results, creating transparency across the entire food supply chain.
Overall, through the BeCrop® Rate, ECOM Costa Rica can proudly demonstrate its sustainability commitment while delivering high-quality coffee beans to its multinational food and beverage company partners.
Farming practices in coffee are being improved with regenerative agriculture. Having a tool to assess the real impact of our actions in the field is very useful.
Tomás Gutiérrez Acuña
ECOM Costa Rica coffee