A European startup called GrowGrounds is launching in 2024 with broad ambitions to address the environmental impact of coffee while also improving conditions for coffee farmers.
Based in Denmark, GrowGrounds is being financially backed by the Swedish roasting company Löfbergs, and the startup plans to work in some capacity with one of the world’s largest coffee production and trading companies, Ecom, according to Löfbergs.
The new sustainability-focused company is being led by
Separate announcements from Löfbergs and
“Today, the vast majority of coffee is grown in so-called monocultures, which is not good for the soil, and requires large amounts of artificial fertilizers and pesticides,” Thøgersen said in an announcement from Löfbergs. “GrowGrounds work with coffee farmers all over the world to convert their production to agroforestry to ensure better conditions for both the soil, the coffee plants and nature in general.”
Christina Singh, who has served as “head of circular innovation” for Löfbergs, and Poul David Videbæk, the former managing director African Coffee Roasters who has held management roles in numerous financing-related international development initiatives.
The financial terms of the partnership between GrowGrounds and its founding partners, including Löfbergs, have not been disclosed.
“With Löfbergs as co-founder, we are going all-in on creating a circular transition and restoring natural ecosystems at small-scale coffee farmers worldwide,” Thøgersen said last week on LinkedIn. “Our business model is to bring coffee growing back to nature, establish agroforestry systems, promote circularity and organic cultivation methods. This we will do, among other things, by helping the coffee farms with financing, so that the necessary conversion will not be at their cost.”
Thøgersen said he will commence duties as GrowGrounds CEO on Jan. 1, 2024.
Löfbergs CEO Anders Fredriksson is serving on the board of directors of the new company. Fredriksson suggested GrowGrounds may help Löfbergs work towards some of its own lofty sustainability goals.
“We want to strengthen our efforts in sustainability and climate impact even further throughout our value chain and contribute to a global change in coffee production, both for the sake of the climate and the environment and for the sake of coffee farmers,” Fredriksson said.
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