About Namibian Retort Charcoal

The five founders of Namibian Retort Charcoal are all farmers in Northern Namibia. Despite carefully managing their livestock, they have each been impacted by invader bush growth on their land. This motivated them to found NRC in 2016 with the purpose of sustainably utilising this abundant, renewable resource for charcoal production while at the same time helping themselves and other farmers to reverse the negative effects of over-bushing.

Before, farmers would take a bulldozer to remove encroachment bush and burn it in a heap. Today, it’s profitably harvested and safely turned into high quality charcoal using steel retorts to minimise emissions.

The result is slow-burning charcoal for the perfect barbecue (braai) and great, clean-burning charcoal for restaurants.

Our founding members

Dirk Kaiser
Dirk KaiserDirector, Head of Operations
Also Farms: Cattle, game, hunting, tourism
Ralf Kretzschmar
Ralf KretzschmarDirector, Head of Plant Infrastructure
Also Farms: Cattle, game, hay
Ernst van Biljon
Ernst van BiljonHead of Finance
Also Farms: Maize, wheat, hay, cattle, game
Heiko Beckers
Heiko BeckersHead of Sales
Also Farms: Cattle, game, hunting, tourism
Karsten Friedensdorf
Karsten FriedensdorfCo-founder
Also Farms: Cattle, game, hunting, tourism

Common encroachment bush species we harvest.

Mostly of the Acacia family, the species of bush we harvest for charcoal include:

  • Vachellia erubescens – Bluethorn;
  • Vachellia fleckii – Bladethorn tree;
  • Vachellia luederitzii – False Umbrella Thorn;
  • Vachellia reficiens – Red Bark Acacia;
  • Vachellia Mellifera – Blackthorn;
  • Dichrostachys Cinerea – Sicklebush;
  • Vachellia haematoxylon – Grey Camelthorn;
  • Terminalia prunioides – Purple Pod Terminalia;
  • Terminalia sericea – Clusterleaf;

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