NAWARO biofuels cooperative

March 31, 2012 12:58 pm

The Context
The NAWARO initiative („Hessische Erzeugergemeinschaft für nachwachsende Rohstoffe w.V.“) was founded in the Hessian district of Wetterau in 1994. Farmers are involved in the production and marketing of crops used in the manufacture renewable energy, specifically rapeseed and biodiesel. Starting off with 150 members cover an acreage of 500 ha of rape from set-aside-areas, it grew up to more than 1.500 members, a hectarage of 10.800 ha of rape, 1.300 ha crops for Biogas und ethyl alcohol and a sales volume of biodiesel of 45 Mio. litres in 2006. In order to command a premium in the market for the rapeseed bulk commodity, producers need to deliver consistently on strict quality specifications

The Mechanism
Members are obliged to follow the rules of production and quality and therefore admit inspections by the NAWARO initiative. Furthermore, they have to observe the common marketing rules and meet the agreed deliveries. Unless the general meeting provides exemptions, farmers have to deliver all their products to the NAWARO initiative.

The Outcome
Because of the premium placed on quality assurance, NAWARO has been able to capture a premium in the market for its’ members and has been a very successful cooperative

Evaluation
According to all actors, there have been no internal crises within the NAWARO initiative: “The right persons have come together”. It has constructed a strong business model for the biofuels sector. Today, the NAWARO initiative unites 1650 farmers and advises 40 biogas plants. It has grown beyond Hessen and includes farmers from the bordering federal states. 50 lorries of the sugar beet alliance are powered by biodiesel. The NAWARO initiative is entirely accepted and recognised by the farmers. The percentage of members with big farms is increasing – as economical profit plays a major role in their decisions.

Reference