Fertcafé Project: Coffee grounds, the perfect ecological fertilizer for vineyards

Coffee grounds have traditionally been used as fertilizer for home plants and home gardens, but now, they are taking an important step towards agricultural production due to its great properties to improve the soil quality and promote biodiversity. 

In the wine sector, Colombian coffee grounds are being used in Somontano vineyards as part of Fertcafé project, a research project aimed at developing an ecological fertilizer through the revaluation of coffee grounds from vending machines.

The companies Eboca, Defeder and Viñas del Vero participate in the Fertcafé project

Three companies based in Aragon participate in this pioneering initiative called Fertcafe: eboka, dedicated to the production and distribution of roasted coffee; our company Defeder, specialized in ecological fertilizers; and Viñas del Vero, recognized for wine production.

Although the project focuses on the province of Huesca, its origin is more than 8,300 kilometers in Colombia. The Eboca company has acquired green coffee from small Colombian coffee growers, exclusively from certified organic farms, and has joined the initiative with great desire and enthusiasm. Defeder.

And, in the process of harvesting and making coffee, there are natural products that can serve as valuable waste, since until now, coffee grounds ended up in the trash, but currently 100% is collected in all the machines in the company. company and then treated to have an ecological fertilizer with these grounds. 

The objective with this project is to be able to process around 70,000 tons of coffee grounds. «"We receive the coffee grounds, which are incorporated into a composting process," points out Joaquin Saila, co-founder of Defeder. Subsequently "It enters the base with manure and goes on to the process to make the fertilizer that Viñas de Vero will use," Saila highlights. 

This type of fertilizer will help stimulate the presence of microbiota in the soil and will help the vineyards to be more vigorous. All of these effects have other benefits in the face of drought and climate change that agricultural production has to face and to which the wine sector is no stranger.

In short, this initiative will not only promote the agricultural sustainability, but will also help reduce the carbon footprint through reuse and circular economy practices. “We are eager to see the first results, which are expected to be seen in early 2024,” Saila concludes.