Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mushroom production using coffee waste

Het Proces
GRO (green recycled organics) (The Netherlands)  has begun mushroom production using coffee waste from the La Place range of restaurants in a closed transport network with Vroegop-Windig transporters
  • La Place restaurants collect coffee grounds into re-used sealable plastic buckets. 
  • Vroegop Windig transports this to GRO where the coffee is used for the cultivation of mushrooms.
  • Vroegop-Windig takes the harvest back to La Place, where mushrooms are used in many dishes. 
220 tons of coffee waste is produced a year at La Place, now this residue is a basis for new products, making full use of logistics at no extra mileage. Possible developments are to also use spent grains from breweries for the cultivation of mushrooms, to begin producing cleaning products using citrus waste, and as production expands, to employ disadvantaged youth. Thus different partnerships within a chain can implement responsible and sustainable production and use of residues. GRO has won the first Horecava Sustainabilty Award 2011.

Chido Govera (Zimbabwe)
GRO (green recycled organics) was established in the Netherlands, inspired by projects in Zimbabwe, and with cooperation with the Ten Foundation.

The method of using agro-waste to farm nutrient rich mushrooms only working with biomass left-overs has been demonstrated in Zimbabwe, Colombia and India. UNDP supported the original work in Africa.

The backbone of this project was the knowledge and experience of Ms Chido Govera and the support structure originally provided by the African University in Mutare, Zimbabwe and researcher Mrs. Margaret Tagwira in particular. The program started with technical support of Prof. Dr. S. T. Chang from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a grant from the ZERI Fondation. Chido started her work with agro-waste as an orphan from the countryside some 40 km outside Mutare, Zimbabwe. She received her mushroom farming training at the age of 12, after surviving for 5 years scavenging waste food and working for a bowl of milo after her mother succumbed to the AIDS virus. Now at the age of 28 she has a rich experience in training and supporting women and orphans in Zimbabwe, Colombia and India. (see: ZERI Southern Africa)
An excerpt from an Article by ZERI Pan-Pacific; Chido Govera: The Orphan who Discovered Mushrooms:
Margaret Tagwira
Margaret Tagwira set out to test water hyacinth as a substrate for mushroom growing and presented a first scientific paper outlining the results of her findings with the peer review of Prof. S. T. Chang and Prof. Dr. Keto Mshigeni (then Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Namibia) . She discovered that on one hundred kilograms of dry base water hyacinth, she could harvest up to 240 kilograms of fresh mushrooms, known as a biological efficiency of 240 percent. Margaret felt that there was a great need to quickly move beyond the academic exercise to determine the biological efficiency; she wanted to ensure that the recent findings would empower a growing number of vulnerable citizens. In the fall of 1996, Margaret organized the first mushroom farming training for 15 orphans at Africa University. Chido Govera was amongst the first to participate in this program. She was barely 12 years old though keen to learn how to feed her family nucleus without having to scavenge the fields, and how to convert this generative capacity of natural systems into a permanent resource for their local community.
Now fast forward to 2011, Chido Govera is now organizing hands-on trainings in villages around the world. Chido plans to maintain a small research base in Zimbabwe. Learning from her teacher, she takes an “approach to sharing solutions in a way that is easily understood and accessible to the poorest since she knows how to survive with little.”
The ZERI Foundation’s innovative pulp-to-protein project received SCaa’s 2009 Sustainability award, while the program benefits farmers’ livelihoods and the environment. Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives (ZERI) is a global network of creative minds seeking solutions to world challenges. The common vision shared by the members of the ZERI family is to view waste as resource and seek solutions using nature's design principles as inspiration. Please read HERE