Updated Apr 05, 2018

Abona Mejor / Fertilize Better, a product by Eat Better Wa'ik

Abona Mejor / Fertilize Better is recycled used coffee turned into fertilizer for acid soils, product from Eat Better Wa'ik. Guatemala's best commodity, coffee, brings no nutrients to fight malnutrition, but its waste nourishes food/crop production.

www.waikgt.org
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Snapshot

Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Fertilize Better started mid-2017: collected and then sold in associated coffee shops, community workshops in waste management and behavioural change, sold to large extension farm, and presented in the Innovator Hub at World Economic Forum LATAM'18

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Social and Behavior Change and Waste Management

Agriculture, Social and Behavior Change and Waste ManagementSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Guatemala

GuatemalaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
400
Customers
2
Employee
$4,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Guatemala accounts with rapid soil degradation and the highest undernourishment rates in Latin America. However, it is one of the largest producers of produce and commodities, including coffee, considered to be the country’s best product. Yet, it brings absolutely no nutrients against wasting and stunting (and is not appropriate for child consumption) and malnutrition. Nonetheless, coffee is largely consumed worldwide and therefore one of the largest waste residue.

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Solution

Abona Mejor / Fertilizer Better collects used coffee waste and turns it into fertilizer for acid soils. This reduces waste, nourishes soil and enables behavioural change and awareness of active circular economy from waste to recycling. We collect coffee and dry it using the sun. We bring workshops to women heads of households and smallholder farmers to reuse their consumed coffee as their own organic fertilizer, for the better production of their crops as cost and environment efficient.

Target Beneficiaries

The direct beneficiaries are farmers, landowners, individual users with gardens and with large land/field extensions, coffee consumers, coffee suppliers, the environment, degradated soil, acid-needed soil, low pH produce/flower/plant/trees/roots.

Mission and Vision

Coffee fertilizer exists. However, just some few know about this. Fertilize Better’s view is to make coffee residue collection and usage a national movement, as a new way to fight undernourishment, malnourishment, availability and access to food, which clearly Guatemala is lagging, showing the worst nutrition indicators in Latin America, increased poverty, and agricultural stagnation. Radical shift in production, consumption and waste behaviour need to be put in place urgently.

Innovation Description

Fertilize Better started to generate income to self-sustain our organization Eat Better Wa’ik, whose focus is to create food awareness to fight malnutrition through education, economics, and now agriculture (SDG 2,3,4,12). We implemented workshops on the origin and utilisation of food, nutritional economics in access to nutritious meals in middle to low income families, and an integrated concept of food from its production, purchase, consumption and transformation. Our main driver is to inform, give out handy and specific guidelines to families, for them not to wait for aid, but to be resilient and self-sufficient in their choices, making the most of their limitations (money, land, food, education and even inequalities). In this sense, people often make decisions on distorted logic based on wrong assumption. Wa’ik is to be inclusive, for everyone to have the information regarding their wellbeing starting with food. And by that, also informing the population (urban and rural) of what to do with the leftovers of their daily coffee. We collect used coffee from coffee shops, restaurants and hotel, dry it, package it, and then sell it to individuals, agri-business workers, field owners. The idea is for smallholder and subsistence farmers for themselves do it, and save money and have better nourished soils for improved crops. All of which reduces coffee waste and is recycled in a productive and environmentally conscious way. Anyone can be an innovator.

Competitive Advantage

Our production and manufacturing costs are almost zero. Our main material, used coffee, is collected from associated businesses, as specific trash collector, at no cost. We only spend today: time (in drying the coffee), voluntary personnel to handle it; and in packaging materials. None other fertilizer uses circular economy materials, from that, we not only focus to farmers, botanical, or agri-businesses, but all individuals, households and businesses to change their habits in waste management and consumption. The selling price is competitive to other organic fertilizers (note: coffee fertilizer is used for acid soil mostly in agricultural countries). The imitative also involves training subsistence and smallholder farmers to save in buying fertilizers, by using what they already have, and what was left of the coffee they just drank. From that, we on information, harnessing savings, inclusion, waste reduction, nutrition (both soil and human), and comprehensive resilience.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Spread the message to separate coffee and their nutritional properties for soil (necesarry for nutrient-rich foods), expand collection points and distribuition, human accountablilty for their waste and utility, specially subsitence/smallholder farmers. Make it a national movement of recycled and organic fertilizer for degraded soil. Abona Mejor / Fertilize Better is sold in ways to self-sustain our organization. So we bring information and actions for better human and soil nutrition.
Funding Goal200,000
New Implemented CountriesBrazil
Recruit2 management positions (commercial and logistic), 2 storage spaces in Guatemala City, 6 solar panels, 5 drivers to collect coffee, 5 vans, 10 volunteers, distribution partnership, 2 more full time employees to deliver workshops on coffee waste usage.
New FeatureHave more specific usage of coffee fertilizer: already mapped acid soils, so focus on production that need acidity in their crops: research who is growing them (corporate and individuals). Spread the use and separation of used coffee. Need an semi-open space using solar panels to dry the coffee so as not conflict with the rainy season to dry the coffee.

Milestones

Apr 2018
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
ORGANIZATIONUnited Nations
Mar 2018
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
May 2017
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Guatemala

Supporting Materials

Abona-Mejor-flyer-cafes-1-.pdf
ABONA-MEJOR-PRESENTACION-FINAL-JULIO-2017.pdf
Abona-Mejor-en-imagen.pdf