Charcoal can have links to deforestation and we are working to transform the industry.
Since January 2019, TFT has become Earthworm Foundation.
We have been assessing factories, local producers, farms and forests to help companies to deliver responsible charcoal since 2013. More than a hundred TFT field visits occurred over the last three years in more than 10 countries. Some factories have even been assessed five times. We also created an assessment tool which helps producers see what they can change in the spirit of continuous improvement. Together with one of our founding members, La Forestière du Nord we explain more about our work in the film.
Charcoal is mainly produced in tropical countries, as well as being one of the drivers of deforestation today. To make one kilogram of charcoal you need between four and 12 kilograms of wood. Charcoal is used as fuel for our barbecues, often without thought how it can be linked with deforestation. Charcoal imports in Europe have increased constantly over the last a decade. However, its origin is often hidden or unknown. Due to a very opaque market it is essential to know exactly what is inside the charcoal bags.
Over the last few years we have been working with the charcoal industry to bring more transparency to the market, verifying the whole supply chain, from buyers to the production site and the forest where the wood comes from. How do you change charcoal buyers’ attitudes? Reveal what is inside the charcoal bags. Through innovative ways to bring transparency we have been raising awareness on buyers’ supply chains and have helped some retailers change their way of working. Three years ago we invented the charcoal bags analysis methodology. Now other NGOs & laboratories are doing the same. Find out more in our film about how we discover the origins of charcoal.
Due to all these actions, The European charcoal market is now demanding for more responsible products. Yet, a lot of issues still remain, a lot of opacity of charcoal imports, fake certified charcoal, and issues around exploitation of workers still exist, but we continue to tackle these issues.