Climate change and diminishing resources are threatening the entire global coffee business, from farmers to consumers. There needs to be a change in how coffee is viewed and how the resources are used throughout the value chain.
Despite our love of coffee, very few of us understand the untapped potential of the millions of plants and beans that are harvested around the world every day. Brewing a cup of coffee uses less than 1 per cent of the nutrients contained in the coffee plant. Given the challenges our world faces, shouldn’t we be looking to find new solutions that use 100 per cent of this resource?
Swedish coffee group Löfbergs have set their sights on that target with their Circular Coffee Community. Acting as a collaborative hub between consumers, companies and innovators, the Circular Coffee Community is looking to eliminate all waste connected to the production and consumption of coffee. From newly planted coffee trees to the used grounds from a brewed cup, the challenge is to make the entire value chain sustainable.
This not only means less waste, but also creating new revenue opportunities for struggling coffee farmers and new products for consumers. Coffee grounds being used for skincare products, as soil nourishers or for making furniture; these are all commercial uses for a product that would otherwise end up in the bin.
At this year’s London Coffee Festival, visitors will get the opportunity to see one of the most innovative results of Löfbergs’ Circular Coffee Community’s
work – a 3D printed coffee station made from waste.
“Our new coffee station is a prime example of circularity, upcycling leftovers from the processing of our own primary raw material – coffee – to create a brand-new and related sustainable product,” Lars Aaen Thøgersen explains. He is the company’s Chief Innovation and Circular Transformation Officer.
This first iteration of the coffee station uses a material made from silver skin, a bi-product from the coffee roasting process, and polypropene. However, work is underway that will allow the use of recycled coffee bags to make the coffee stations close to 100 per cent circular.
The 3D printed coffee station will be on display at the London Coffee Festival from Thursday 23rd September – Sunday 26th September.