The Specialty Coffee Association of America, the world’s largest membership organization of coffee traders, roasters and distributors/coffee shops, decided last weekend to give their Annual Sustainability Award to the ZERI Foundation for the coffee-waste-to-mushrooms project they initiated in Colombia and developed in Zimbabwe with connections to India.
Our congratulations to Gunter Pauli, founder and director of Zeri (Zero Emissions Research Initiative) and author of the Zeri Fables children’s book series and Upsizing: The Road to Zero Emissions, More Jobs, More Income, and No Pollution.
With 8,000 coffee-heads expected to attend, the SCAA’s next conference will be held on April 16-19 in Atlanta. They will spend one hour plenary session on the “coffee to mushroom” initiative.
In Gunter’s words:
We started this 14 years ago, there are an estimated 10,000 mushroom farmers now in Colombia, Chido from Zimbabwe who started learning about mushrooms when she was 12 in one of ZERI’s programs with Prof. Shuting Chang from the Chinese University in Hong Kong, went to Colombia was trained there and then went to India, and shared her knowledge.
Read more about the Zeri foundation’s efforts to spread multicropping in Colombia, reducing coffee waste by using it to grow shiitake mushrooms.