Visit to Direct Charcoal
I visited Direct Charcoal to see their operations and controls. They supply most of the UK supermarkets with Charcoal and also lump charcoal to the restaurant trade for grilling. Bob and his team have been in the Charcoal business for 2 generations and know a lot about the global market. Most of their charcoal is made in Namibia by FSC certified suppliers and they hold FSC Certification. Their Certification is by SGS, Certificate number SGSCH-COC-001679. The feedstock is ‘woody weeds’ that gradually encroach on the farms and so the farmers like the charcoal makers. They start at one side of the farm and work across, taking the larger scrub trees and leaving the smaller ones. This way the feedstock is renewable, and because labour standards are checked it can be FSC.
The charcoal is graded, checked, bagged and put onto pallets in South Africa and then loaded in containers. Sea freight and road transport take 10% of the carbon footprint of the charcoal; we include for this in our carbon accounts. In the photo I’m standing next to one of the first pallets of charcoal bought by Solid Carbon Storage.