Charcoal specification issued
I had to decide what charcoal to buy for storage. I wanted it to be environmentally friendly so the feedstock has to be from renewable sources. Since a lot of charcoal is made in developing countries I wanted to check it was made using ethical labour standards. While most charcoal is made from virgin wood, there is a risk that contaminated wood is used. Contaminated feed could result in charcoal with dangerous heavy metal content and so we specify toxicity limits. Dangerous tars can also be made if the charcoal making is too cool and so we also specify limits for PAH (Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbon). The safety limits we set are based on the Biochar Quality Mandate ‘High Grade’. This makes sure the charcoal we buy is safe for long term storage or for use as a soil improver.
Our specification is a formal document that is agreed with our suppliers. When I ran a medical device company we used similar documentation and supplier checks. We test the charcoal at independent laboratories to check that the product we buy meets the safety standards. We also ask for certification on the feedstock source and labour standards
On to Supplier Visit