Carble’s press release caught my attention with the first sentence, “We cannot offset our way out of climate change”. I agree, yet this has been the plan for many MNCs that need to meet ESG targets. Buying a way out of making an impactful change to the way they do business with sometimes questionable quality carbon credits.

I had some questions about the company’s business model, and about how their approach differed from others. Their CEO Sander Reuderink was kind enough to respond to some questions. Also read their press release below the Q&A

Your website mentions doing a trial in East Africa for the first half of 2022. Did that happen, what were the results?

The pilot was delayed due to safety concerns with the GPS mapping and data collection at the farms. Now, this has been completed, and we expect to start making the first payments by the end of the quarter.

Can you disclose the planned use of funds – a macro breakdown between technology investment, admin/salaries, Project related OPEX?

Around € 100k in external development costs and fieldwork, € 150k in salaries and € 50k in other expenses and overhead. 

Farmers are rewarded for storing carbon, so they get paid not to cut down trees. Buyers of their green coffee can also make environmental claims and evidence that statement through your app.

Through our platform, brands can monitor historic, current and avoided emissions and download this report in a format that meets the requirements of their certification

Are farmers paid for trees that would not have been cut down anyway (i.e. preserving forests)? or do they have to show that the payment is linked to a change in behaviour (we were going to deforest here, but now we don’t)

We reward farmers for the positive change toward the current trendline? In a nutshell, if farms in a region typically destroy 1% of forest cover per annum, farmers who protect the forest get paid for an amount that equals 1% of their carbon stock per annum.

How much are they paid?

The price per tonne of CO2 is comparable to that of high-quality carbon credits, typically around € 10 / tCO2e

Does Carble pay them and then collect the money later as traded carbon credits?

Technically carbon reductions in a supply chain are not carbon credits. Payments to farmers are made as a ‘carbon premium’ on top of their usual payments.

What is Carble’s business model – to make a margin between what you pay the farmer and what the credits are ultimately sold for?

We charge coffee buyers a monthly subscription fee as well as a 10% commission on the carbon payments.

Press Release

Noordwijk-based Carble uses satellite data to reward deforestation-free farming – aims to avoid 1,000 megatons of unnecessary CO2 emissions

Carble closed a €300k funding round led by Antler, the global early-stage VC, to bring the first version of the product to the market.

“We cannot offset our way out of climate change” – instead, Carble enables carbon insetting as a more scalable way to fight climate change. Carble’s platform aims to help the world avoid 1000 megatons of CO2 emissions by 2035, equivalent to the emissions caused by the whole aviation industry in 20201.

Nov 8, 2022. Amsterdam, NL. Noordwijk-based Carble is fighting climate change by financially compensating farmers for preventing deforestation. The payments to farmers are made by tropical commodity buyers like coffee and cocoa brands, who Carble helps by providing precise data about which farmers are performing deforestation-free agriculture. Now the company, founded in 2021 by Sander Reuderink, Noura Hanna and Lodewijk van der Meer, has just raised €300k of funding in a round led by global early-stage venture capital investor, Antler.

Tropical forest loss is the main driver of the high carbon footprint of tropical commodities like coffee, cocoa, tea and rubber. If tropical deforestation were a country, it would rank right behind China and the United States in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the 2021 IPCC2 report showed that ending tropical deforestation is the second most impactful intervention to reduce climate change today (only the transition to renewable energy sources is more impactful).

Carble’s proprietary software platform ingests satellite data containing information on carbon storage in agroforestry farms, then uses a machine learning algorithm to process this data, and finally presents the data to brands in an actionable format so they can reward deforestation-free farming at scale. This approach is attractive in that it helps brands to decarbonize their own supply chain, rather than offsetting their carbon footprint through offsetting projects that do not change anything in the brands’ internal operations. Furthermore, it directly contributes to reducing poverty in tropical commodity farmers, thereby giving brands double the social and environmental impact per dollar.

Eight of the ten largest coffee brands and all major cocoa brands have announced their goals to significantly reduce their negative impact on the climate. Yet there are no solutions that effectively reduce deforestation and address poverty amongst farmers – two of the largest sustainability challenges that these brands face.

With the Carble platform, we aim to avoid 1000 megaton of CO2 emissions, protect 1 million hectares of tropical forest and generate 1 billion euros of additional income for 1 million tropical commodity farmers by 2035.

Sander Reuderink, co-founder and CEO of Carble

The €300k funding round was led by a global early-stage VC, Antler, and also included angel investors and grants from the German government’s GIZ Coffee Innovation Fund and the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre. This makes Carble one of the latest additions to Antler’s global portfolio of over 600 startups. With this funding, Carble is introducing the first version of their technology to the market, while already starting on their next fundraising round in order to double down on strong current customer demand.

At Antler, we work with exceptional founders from day zero to create startups with significant growth potential. The Carble team brings together a truly unique set of backgrounds and skills to the problem they are solving.

They have everything from brand and the farmer’s livelihood to the technology side. The team has impressed us with their high ambitions and execution focus, and we are excited about the impact they will have in addressing climate change across the tropical commodity industry.

Youri Doeleman, a Partner at Antler, comments:

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