Turning charcoal into Carbon Gold

Carbon, climate change and chocolate – Carbon Gold announces deal with Green & Black’s
by Stuart at 2009-09-19 19:37:01 (News)
Carbon Gold, the world’s leading sustainable biochar project developer, has entered into a deal with Green & Black’s organic chocolate to implement a groundbreaking biochar project in Belize. The project will help to boost cacao farmers’ incomes, improve soil fertility and capture carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere as CO2.
Carbon Gold, with support from Green & Black’s, will be funding the project and working with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA), the same farmers that grow the Fairtrade cacao for the Green & Black’s organic Maya Gold chocolate. The scheme will be piloted with local farmers with the aim to implement this initiative with all TCGA farmers by the end of the year.

Carbon Gold will provide training to the farmers to construct and operate the units. The biomass will come from sustainable sources, including prunings from the cacao trees which would otherwise be burnt or left to rot on the ground.

Dan Morrell, co-founder of Carbon Gold, says:

“We are very excited to be working with Green & Black’s, who has seen how biochar can play a key role in tackling climate change. Their history of producing Maya Gold, the first product to be awarded UK FAIRTRADE certification in 1994, demonstrates their vision in taking on issues of such great importance to their supply chain, and now they are expanding on that into climate mitigation through biochar in partnership with the very same farmers.”

Green & Black’s has recognised that biochar is the only technology that can use CO2 taken out of the atmosphere and, by ploughing it into the ground, improve soil fertility and prevent the CO2 from re-entering the atmosphere. We all know there can be no single answer to global warming, but biochar can be part of a suite of solutions.”

Dominic Lowe, MD of Green & Black’s, adds:

“At Green & Black’s we have always tried to combine making great tasting chocolate with being as environmentally sound as we can. Carbon Gold’s development of a farm-scale biochar model provides us with the opportunity to start addressing our carbon footprint and at the same time increase cocoa farmers’ income. I’m delighted to be using Carbon Gold’s premium biochar product to begin offsetting our carbon footprint through the carbon emission reductions that will result.”


Biochar is a type of charcoal produced by heating biomass in a simple kiln so that its carbon content can be stabilised for hundreds if not thousands of years. It is a safe, tried and tested environmental form of carbon capture and storage. When mixed with soil, biochar also enables greater moisture retention and reduces nitrous oxide and methane emissions. It also helps rebuild soil structure, vital in countries where soil quality is low.

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