This is such a widely used term and truthfully is more often mis-used. It can be appropriated in so many ways to describe or label so many different things.
So let us tell you what it means to us in terms of our coffee and our coffee business: we are principally interested in
Economic Sustainability and Environmental Sustainability.
This is what we mean:
Our 250g beans are specialty grade, sourced as green coffee via our partner importers and score a minimum of 85 points on the SCA recognised cupping scale.
We believe that having transparency of the value created at each stage of the supply chain ensures we are paying the correct amount for the coffee and that the farmers ‘gate price’ is well above the minimal economic sustainable levels.
This is not just 20% above the market price as some ‘green washing’ brands will boast. That doesn’t get anywhere near improving the situation. We can sometimes pay up to 6x the average market price. Why? Because that’s what the coffee is worth! And by roasting it and packing it ourselves we will make enough margin to pass it on to you at an excellent price.
Now you know why you pay what you pay for your coffee from us!
This is what we mean:
We are not trying to save the world. But we would like to play our part in improving it, giving it a better chance.
Our coffee capsules are made from plants. In our case, a by-product of the sugarcane plant. They are made into a form of plastic (known as PLA – Poly Lactic Acid – made without using fossil fuels such as oil) and moulded into a capsule shape to work in your Nespresso machine.
The key to this is that we can choose and control the start of life of our capsules. We choose plant-based materials to avoid the massive additional energy and toxic emissions generated in the production of aluminium capsules. Aluminium is a very recyclable metal. But at the start of it’s life, it has to be dug out of hug holes in the ground. The environmental impact of this is massive. And every new aluminium capsule needs new aluminium. It is a very unvirtuous circle. And we don’t like it.
We think our capsules just offer a better way. They come from carbon absorbing plants, require less energy to produce them and at the end of their life they either turn back into small amounts of CO2, water and biomass in industrial composting plants or are burned like a lot of waste and leave little trace on the environment.
Their footprint on our planet is much lighter!
It’s a tricky one.
Our capsules are industrial compostable, like a lot of similar products made from PLA. Getting them to industrial composting facilities is the challenge. Many governments have not yet developed the systems and processes to collect and separate these PLA products from the standard waste or single use recyclable plastics and so don’t want consumers to place these capsules into the bio or green or food bins. Which is weird because our capsules will decompose faster than a banana skin.
So the end of life part is not great currently. So we are focussed on telling you that at least the start of life is far better than the alternatives.
Not entirely straightforward.
Well, most home composting systems may not sustain the required minimum 60C over at least a 12 week period. Our capsules would decompose in this situation for sure.
So we cannot recommend throwing our capsules into your garden compost heap and definitely not into nature.
This is how we make it better.
We are using Organic Certified coffee inside our capsules. We feel this keeps our story to you true. You can feel reassured that every effort has been made to keep the entire chain of the production of our capsules as organic as possible.