Circular opportunities

The coffee sector is estimated to exceed $200 billion per year and demand for coffee has increased by 65% during the last two decades. Experts estimate growth in coffee demand will continue with new markets as for example China are growing significantly.

At the same time, the supply of coffee is under severe pressure from among others climate change, inefficient and low-tech farming methods, and the low prices paid to farmers.

We cannot continue to waste potential. Let’s go from extraction to regeneration and use all resources available in a meaningful and sustainable way. Examples of opportunities are plenty, for example:

FARM LEVEL:
Circular opportunities

  • The integration of trees on farm increases biodiversity, makes coffee farms more robust and diversifies farm income. Regenerative agriculture requires less agro-chemical input, which is the main climate-culprit for coffee
  • Rainwater can be harvested, and wastewater filtered and recycled. This lowers the water usages and prevents pollution.
  • Finding ways of upcycling cascara, for example as fertiliser, tea, or to make high-value products. This increases the farm income.

    PROCESSING:
    Circular opportunities

    • Relying on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels lowers the climate impact of coffee processing. Bioenergy can be a way to generate energy from coffee waste.
    • Coffee waste and silverskin contain high levels of caffeine, antioxidants and fibres and can be upcycled.

      CONSUMPTION:
      Circular opportunities

      • The spent coffee grounds hold 99% of the nutritional value from the coffee bean and can be transformed into new ingredients for cosmetics, and foods.
      • We drink a lot of our coffee on the go, thereby generating waste that is usually hard to recycle. By developing compostable coffee cups, or implementing a pant system, we reduce the input of non-renewable resources and keep materials in the loop.

        Farm level:

        • the integration of trees on farm increases biodiversity, makes coffee farms more robust and diversifies farm income. Regenerative agriculture requires less agro-chemical input, which is the main climate-culprit for coffee.
        • Rainwater can be harvested, and wastewater filtered and recycled. This lowers the water usages and prevents pollution.
        • Finding ways of upcycling cascara, for example as fertiliser, tea, or to make high-value products. This increases the farm income.

        Processing:

        • Relying on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels lowers the climate impact of coffee processing. Bioenergy can be a way to generate energy from coffee waste.
        • Coffee waste and silverskin contain high levels of caffeine, antioxidants and fibres and can be upcycled.

        Consumption:

        • The spent coffee grounds hold 99% of the nutritional value from the coffee bean and can be transformed into new ingredients for cosmetics, and foods.
        • We drink a lot of our coffee on the go, thereby generating waste that is usually hard to recycle. By developing compostable coffee cups, or implementing a pant system, we reduce the input of non-renewable resources and keep materials in the loop.

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