Plastic Free July

“Choose to Up Cup” for Plastic Free July

Coffee lovers are being asked to make better cup choices as part of the Plastic Free July initiative “Choose to Up Cup: Bring, Borrow, Stay,” which encourages people to take a reusable cup to cafés, borrow a cup, or choose to stay and enjoy their beverage.  Read more

Jasper Coffee sets eye on export markets

 Australian Fairtrade and specialty coffee roaster, Jasper Coffee, was established in 1989 whose success has been driven by selling its products through wholesalers, distributors, the Australian cafe community, as well as direct to customers via its four Melbourne-based stores and e-commerce website.

Jasper Coffee has also set themselves a goal for 2021 – to export its products to new and emerging markets in Asia, where it will continue to spread its ethical and sustainability messaging.

“Diversification has definitely been the key to the success of Jasper Coffee,” said Wells Trenfield, Jasper Coffee’s founder. “What we’ve learnt in 30 years is how important it is to always actively seek out alternative ways to strengthen the foundations of your business. Whilst COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on our business, with severe loss of revenue within our retail sector, we are working to create stability against the backdrop of instability.”

Environmental practices are cemented in its business ethos. The company operates with certifications in organic, fair trade, 100 per cent carbon neutrality, becoming a certified BCorp member in April, 2016.

Moving forward, Jasper Coffee feels they have successfully tapped into a new market in what they do best, sustainability.

“In a world where large and small businesses are scrambling to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint and deliver a more sustainable business operation, Jasper Coffee has been compliant and accredited in these arenas for years. We are perched ready to deliver an authentic solution for the coffee industry that meets this demand. We are in the box seat to be able to be the first to deliver,” said Trenfield.

Lavazza Australia launches new coffee bean range

Lavazza Australia has announced the launch of its new whole coffee bean collection Espresso Barista, which will bring barista coffee in to customer’s homes.

Espresso Barista is available in Coles, Woolworths, selected independent supermarkets and via Lavazza Australia’s  eCommerce site.

All beans are specially selected and slow drum roasted to provide the ultimate flavour for all coffee types – from double espressos to cappuccinos.

 Created for coffee aficionados who use an automatic or semi-automatic machine, the beans are slow-roasted through a drum roll technique, which has a lower roasting temperature than traditional methods and allows for full manual control.

The range will be available in three flavour profiles: Intenso, Gran Crema and Perfetto.

Why making a profit is no longer enough for big brands

When you’re one of the world’s largest confectionery brands, you’re under the microscope. We live in a time where a more discerning, informed public are not only interested in the products a company is producing, but how they are making them – where are they sourcing their ingredients? What sort of packaging are they using? What are the products nutritional health benefits?

It’s not lost on Nestlé’s Oceania director of eBusiness, strategy and marketing, Martin Brown. It’s his job to not only sell the company’s message in the local environment, but make sure it is adhering to the best practices he and other strategists have put in place.

Brown knows that the younger consumers are the ones driving the conversation – and not only in terms of whether a product tastes good or not.

“If you look at the diversity of our population and the expectations, it is the younger consumers that are shaping our industry,” said Brown. “They are shaping a couple of key forces that are really important for us to consider. One is, they make choices on brands and consumption based on beliefs. They’re very much looking at the actions of the brand – what is behind the brand – particularly with the supply chain.”

No longer is it good enough to make a great tasting product under the banner of a worldwide known and trusted brand. A lot of food and beverage companies – and those in peripheral arenas like packaging – are employing people whose sole purpose within the conglomerate’s structure is to look after sustainability and traceability. This is because companies like Nestle know that social media and other modern trends have a huge influence on purchasing decisions.

Nestlé is looking at a variety of ways of making sure that it not only provides products from sustainable sources and can be traced back to the farm, but it is also taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

“As a company that operates 10 factories in the region, we have plenty of scope to influence that commitment. Part of those commitments is accelerating the use of renewable energy,” said Brown. “For instance, we use the spent coffee grounds in our Gympie factory as fuel to drive the energy in that factory.

“At our Smithtown factory, which is the home of Milo, we use sawdust from the local timber industry to power 85 per cent of the energy in that plant. These are good examples of clever renewable energy sources. We’re also committed across all of those operations to have zero waste to landfill by 2020 and are pretty close to achieving that.”

Globally, Nestlé has signed up to the RE100, which is a group of companies that have pledged to use 100 per cent renewable energy. The accord means that Nestlé has agreed to zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as part of the pledge to hold to the 1.5˚C maximum temperature increase through climate change.

When it comes to another hot-button issue for consumers – recyclability – Nestlé is committed to meeting its 2025 responsibility of its packaging being reusable or recyclable. Currently, 50 per cent of the materials it uses is recyclable, while 40 per cent is partially recyclable.

“We’re going to focus first on the 10 per cent that is non-recyclable,” said Brown. “We’ve got a negative list of materials that we are removing from all of our packaging. The cardboard is fine, however not all of the substrates used in flexible packaging are recyclable.

We have multi-layers of material that are not recyclable. That’s where we need to find solutions.”

These solutions will not appear out of thin air. Investment is needed, and Nestlé doesn’t mind putting its hat in the ring when it comes to spending money to find the answers that will lead to more sustainable packaging. Brown also realises that there are other issues that need to be addressed with packaging – recyclability is but one aspect.

“This is where the science comes in with regard to coming up with new packaging solutions because they’re not available right now,” said Brown. “We’ve invested in the Nestlé Institute of Packaging to work with the science community and the rest of the packaging community to develop novel solutions that are fully recyclable and/or compostable. These will be the replacement solutions for that 10 per cent non-recyclable packaging.

“If we can come up with solutions that meet consumer expectations of quality, tamper-proof food safety, and is relevant in a category that can fully eliminate packaging, that would be a good thing. We’re trialling those solutions already.”

Another hot topic is food trends. Two that have caught the eye of Nestle’s hierarchy are confectionery products with less sugar [see box story Satisfying the Sweet Tooth], and plant-based proteins. Again, it is the younger consumer driving the issue. In the case of the latter, it is not about getting rid of meat altogether, but about replacing one or two meals a week with plant-based proteins. Brown thinks there are many reasons for the growing trend.

“There’s health reasons,” he said. “They may also connect the dots between meat and greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, for them, it might be about living in a more sustainable environment. With our Harvest Gourmet products, and along with the rest of the plant protein industry, we are providing alternatives that make that transition seamless in a way that is pretty surprising. We think that it is going to grow quickly as a market opportunity.”

Brown said that Nestlé is looking to develop a range of meat alternatives – from chicken breasts to mince – that will give customers versatile options for food consumption. Then there are dairy alternatives, too.

“You can expect we will bring plant-based dairy options across a range of our beverage products,” he said. “We’ve seen that it is becoming popular in the way people are adopting plant-based milks into their out of home coffee consumption. That is definitely an opportunity for in-home coffee consumption as well.”

And what about another, albeit minor, trend of insect-based proteins? Brown acknowledges that it is an idea the company might look at in the future, but there is nothing in the pipeline at the moment.

“We’re aware of insect-based proteins. They’re probably not mainstream enough for us to look at yet,” he said. “We’re blessed at being in a pretty resource-rich environment so we’re not quite yet at the insect level. It’s an imaginative solution, which is arguable very sustainable and we should never rule it out.”

Brown is confident that Nestlé is on target to not only continue meeting the needs of its traditional consumers, but also encompass new food technologies and trends that will be entering the food chain over the next 5 to 10 years. It is not only about keeping the taste great, but making sure the brand keeps its reputation.

“As we continue to offer more choice and lift the nutritional credentials of all our products, it is important to remember that any change has to be underpinned by great taste. And with that, will come trust – something that is very important to any brand like Nestlé.”

Social responsibility
Chocolate and coffee – two items that tick all the endorphin boxes when consumed. Debating traceability of products, sustainability in packaging, and energy efficiencies during the production process are all well and good, but what’s the point if the key ingredients no longer exist? No ingredients means no products. Coffee beans and cocoa plants are grown in a narrow window of land on the equator. The main producers are in sub-Sahara African and the equatorial climate of South America. A recent article in Business Insider titled Chocolate is on track to go extinct in 40 years, concentrated on how the aforementioned strip of land is set to shrink due to climate change. Cacao plants, which product the cocoa for chocolate, need certain temperatures to grow and that is starting to change. However, that is not the main issue, because if humanity does get to reverse the more undesirable effects of climate change, there is another more urgent problem – will there be cocoa farmers to produce the crop?

It is an issue that the likes of Nestlé and Mars are taking head on. They realise without cocoa, a large portion of their business is affected. It is with this in mind that Nestlé’s Martin Brown explains why the company’s attitude towards its primary producers is holistic. The company knows that trying to buy the biggest amount of cocoa at the cheapest price possible is short-sighted. Long-term viability is needed and is something that the company champions. With more than 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa being produced on two million small farms in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, logistics can be challenging.

“The reality is that a lot of these communities are in undeveloped economies and live in challenged social spaces, so we have to help them resolve things such as unsafe work practices,” said Brown. “They’re complicated problems to solve that need total integration by the government across all industries.”

Brown said that in 2014 Nestlé was one of the first major companies in Australia to use 100 per cent sustainable cocoa. He said the company is committed to paying a premium to all farmers it buys through. The company also likes to make sure its suppliers are in compliance when it comes to eliminating unsafe child labour work practices and ensuring children go to school.

“We are also eliminating the use of unsafe pesticides,” said Brown. “We’ve built schools in farming communities to ensure that their kids are getting educated. We’ve distributed new cocoa plants. We’ve renewed the cocoa plantations to drive productivity in their farms. We’ve educated farmers on how to look after their farms better.”

A lot of actions undertaken by food conglomerates are driven by consumer expectations. However, Brown also knows that goodwill in these communities goes a long way. Because if climate change does get addressed, and the standard of living is accelerated, there are other issues that will also need addressing. Only collaboration between the farmers and businesses will solve them.

“There are a numbers of reasons why the cocoa supply has been under threat,” said Brown. “First, cacao trees are at their most productive between 2-20 years of age. If they are not renewed and the tree is not continuously replenished, productivity drops, and drops away sharply.”

Next, if the farming methods to optimise the layout of a farm – from ventilation between trees, right fertilisation methods, pruning and cropping of the trees – isn’t maintained, the productivity of the tree is reduced. Then there is the issue whereby farmers might not grow the crop anymore because they are not getting the economic outcome of it that another crop might provide.

“Another reason why you might have a compromised future with the cocoa crop is that the next generation don’t want to farm,” said Brown. “The next generation might leave farm communities because the conditions are just not good enough. They are not liveable and those meant to be taking over the farm have higher expectations of quality of life. And that should be everyone’s expectation – that the next generation gets to lead a higher quality of life or has the opportunity.”

Coca-Cola launches sugar-free Coca-Cola Plus Coffee

Australians will be the first in the world to taste the new Coca-Cola Plus Coffee – available as a limited edition over summer.

“Australians have a love affair with coffee so we thought why not give them more of what they want – the great taste of Coca-Cola with a dash of real coffee from Brazil,” Coca-Cola Australia spokeswoman Lisa Winn said.

Winn said the new flavour will start to roll out to stores from today.

“It’s a fresh take on the delicious taste of Coca-Cola Classic but with the unmistakable aroma of real coffee and some subtle caramel undertones.

“Just like the real thing, the delicious taste of Coca-Cola Plus Coffee is best served icy cold.

“And for those watching their sugar intake the good news is that Coke Plus Coffee is completely sugar free.”

Winn said the launch follows the standout success last year of the company’s most recent limited edition flavour, Coca-Cola Ginger.

“Coke Ginger was a huge success in Australia and it was inspired by the simple insight that Australians enjoy the taste of ginger drinks. The launch of the new Coke Plus Coffee follows a similar path to market – we know Australians love their coffee,” she said.

Winn said for many Aussies, it will be a popular alternative to a second cup of coffee in the afternoon.

“If it sounds like it packs a punch – people might be surprised. Coca-Cola Plus Coffee actually has much less caffeine than the same amount of a regular latte or flat white but a little more than Classic Coca- Cola.”

Coca-Cola Plus Coffee No Sugar will be available nationally as a limited edition product from September 26, 2017.

First recyclable coffee cup ready to be trialled

With Australians consuming 50,000 takeaway coffees every 30 minutes, Australia’s first recyclable coffee cup will be introduced this month as part of a trial to reduce the impact of coffee cups on landfill, with cafes and specialty coffee roasters across Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney the first to test the exclusive concept.

Detpak, an Australian-owned specialist paper and board packaging manufacturer dedicated to the food service industry, has partnered with Smart Planet Technologies to create the RecycleMe cup that is easy for consumers to recycle using the existing paper and cardboard recycling stream, and provides commercial returns for the paper recyclers that aren’t available with existing coffee cups.

The coffee cup comes in 8oz and 12oz sizes and will be used for one week commencing Monday 14 August. Dedicated blue bins will be available at each trial location for customers to dispose of their lids and empty cups. The cups will then be baled up and taken to a paper recycling facility for processing into material that can be turned into new paper and cardboard products.

Detpak general manager for marketing and innovation Tom Lunn said: “Previous trials of dedicated coffee cup recycling bins in Australia last year show there is an appetite to make a difference for the environment and address the war on waste, as paper cups continue to have a huge impact on the volume of landfill globally.

“There’s still a misconception that paper coffee cups can be recycled, when they are actually lined with a plastic membrane of polyethylene (PE) to make them waterproof. This lining proves expensive and difficult for recyclers to separate from paperboard.

The coffee cup is made with a mineral based lining which allows the lining to be easily removed during the recycling process. 96 per cent of the coffee cup can be recycled into new products such as paperback covers and cardboard products. The paper can potentially be recycled in this way up to seven times, compared to the 1 billion paper cups that end up in the landfill each year. It is estimated that only one per cent of plant based lined cups currently make it to commercial composting each year.

Lunn said the new cup technology will be a great forward solution for recycling facilities as they won’t have to change their equipment or invest in special handling.

“We recognise that disposable cup waste is an environmental issue but economics are important too. There is no capital investment required from the paper recycling plant and the RecycleMeTM cup minimises cost implications for businesses in handling paper cups, providing commercial returns for the paper recyclers that they don’t get from the current PE-lined cups,” he said.

Detpak is working with collection partner Veolia to devise a long-term solution that will allow paper cups to be recycled through common paper and board recycling processes, with the aim to have coffee cups available for commercial sale within six months of the trial’s completion. Keep South Australia Beautiful (KESAB) will be providing consumers with waste and recycling education and importantly auditing the trial program.

RecycleMe coffee cup trials commenced on Monday 14 August in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney across select partner outlets.


Nespresso relaunches ‘Tribute to Milano’

This month, Nespresso has taken inspiration from the bustling Italian coffee culture of Milan to relaunch one of its most loved Grand Cru, Tribute to Milano. Responding to Australian’s love of intense coffee, the product is available as a limited edition.

Tribute to Milano is a reflection of the rich history and culture that Milan offers. In the hustle and bustle of the affluent Northern Italian city, coffee is usually enjoyed intense and at a fast pace whilst standing at the bar, complementing the intense Milanese way of life.

To honour this, Nespresso Coffee Experts have re-created a delicate blend of Arabica and Robusta beans that results in a delightful balance between fine fruity aromas and sweet cereal notes.

Mitch Monaghan, Nespresso Coffee Ambassador, explained: “We know that Australians have a love for a more intense coffee and discovering new coffee cultures through our Limited Edition Grands Crus. Originally launched in 2015, bringing back the Limited Edition Tribute to Milano is our way of showing our customers we know what they love.”

The Limited Edition Grand Cru has a mild bitterness and acidity with a rounded body and high intensity. Let this delightful Ristretto immerse you into the atmosphere of this enchanting Italian city.


Solution to reduce coffee cups in landfill

Paper and board packaging manufacturer Detpak has partnered with Smart Planet Technologies to develop a coffee cup with a lining that is easy to recycle through existing channels.

The range of paper cups is branded RecycleMe, with distinctive blue imagery and clear messaging about disposal for ease of consumer identification.

As has been widely reported, approximately one billion coffee cups are added to landfill in Australia and New Zealand annually. In contrast to the cups Detpak is working on, most coffee cups feature a waterproof plastic lining which makes them unable to be easily recycled.

In-market trials of the product will take place in the next three months. To successfully bring this cup to market, the company is teaming with recyclers, councils and other organisations committed to reducing the number of coffee cups sent to landfill.



Nescafé Gold Organic coffee

Nestlé has announced the launch of Nescafé Gold Organic in Australia – a premium grade Fairtrade and organic coffee, inspired by baristas.

The range is known for its rich aroma and smooth taste – and the latest addition is no exception. The blend contains Arabica coffee beans, grown and harvested by Fairtrade certified farmer cooperatives in Peru, which are then ground and roasted to produce a soluble coffee filled with exceptional richness and flavour.

The organic coffee is a key part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to set the benchmark for reducing the footprint of coffee production. It aims to provide Australians with the option of a high-calibre coffee to drink easily at home, that is made with coffee beans that are sourced in a socially responsible and environmentally friendly manner.

The ethically sourced coffee has been classified as certified organic by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA). It has also been independently certified by Fairtrade. The Fairtrade Mark indicates a commitment to giving farmers and workers stable prices, decent working conditions and the empowerment of farmers and workers around the world.

Dare Cold Pressed coffee

Dare, owned and manufactured in Australia by Lion Dairy & Drinks, has released its latest creation, Dare Cold Pressed.

With a new recipe and new look, Dare Cold Pressed is available in two strengths, latte and strong latte.

The drink is crafted using three natural ingredients: fresh milk from Australian dairy farmers, quality Arabica cold-brewed coffee and a dash of raw sugar. It brings crafted cold brewed coffee to the masses through convenience and grocery stores.

Darryn Wallace, LDD’s Marketing & Innovation Director said Dare Cold Pressed has been developed in response to consumers’ evolving tastes and love of coffee. He said their appreciation of unique blends and higher-quality coffees had intensified, resulting in greater demand for premium-quality coffee.

The cold brew coffee in each Dare Cold Pressed coffee takes hours to make. Darryn adds, “taking the time to infuse the beans in cold water gives the coffee a smoother, richer taste. Ultimately, the technique delivers a superior form of coffee extraction; it really delivers on a fancier fix.”

To mark the launch of the new iced coffee range, a series of Dare Cold Pressed “cafes” will be popping up in key metro locations from 1 May.

Sustainable shopping: here’s how to find coffee that doesn’t cost the Earth

Shopping can be confusing at the best of times, and trying to find environmentally friendly options makes it even more difficult. Welcome to the first instalment of our Sustainable Shopping series, in which we ask experts to provide easy, eco-friendly guides to purchases big and small. The Conversation

The morning coffee ritual is serious business; Australians drink roughly 16.3 million coffees a day. Plenty of news coverage has been devoted to its health benefits and cultural significance, but how much do you know about the environmental cost of your daily latte?

Coffee is grown in some of the most biologically diverse regions of the world, sometimes causing significant damage. But there are choices you can make to reduce the ecological impact of your caffeine fix.

The issue

Coffee mostly affects tropical forests, as they are cleared to make way for coffee farms. But with certain cultivation practices, these coffee farms can support an impressive range of forest biodiversity.

The world’s most popular coffee type, Coffea arabica, grows under the rainforest canopies of Ethiopia. A natural requirement for shade means coffee is often cultivated under shading plants, from a single tree species to a diverse range of plant life.

However, to improve productivity, traditional coffee farms have been increasingly replaced with sun-tolerant coffee varieties that produce higher yields. Compared with shaded coffee, these simplified plantations support fewer native species, store less carbon, experience higher levels of erosion, and leach more nutrients. They also require more resources such as water and fertilisers.

How can we increase sustainability?

The most important choice when it comes to sustainable coffee is the actual coffee and its cultivation. Cultivation can contribute as little as 1% or as much as 70% of the total environmental footprint of a cup of coffee. How the coffee is consumed (instant, fresh grounds or pods, for instance) has less influence.

The lowest-impact coffee is grown using traditional cultivation methods with minimal mechanisation. At the other extreme are large farms that are highly mechanised and require more fertiliser and pesticides.

A combination of traditional cultivation methods, maintaining shading plants, protecting local forests and buffering waterways (filtering farmland runoff with vegetation before it enters waterways), has the lowest environmental impact.

What can you do?

While searching for your daily dose of caffeine, you have probably come across several different sustainability certification logos. They are the easiest way to find out about how your coffee is cultivated, and have proved effective in protecting coffee landscapes from degradation.

The two most prominent certification programs are The Rainforest Alliance and Australian Certified Organic.

The Rainforest Alliance requires a level of native vegetation to be maintained within each coffee farm. There is some criticism that the alliance has watered down its criteria in recent years, at least in terms of maintaining diverse shading vegetation. However, their certification leads to positive outcomes such as protection of waterways and native vegetation.

Australian Certified Organic certifies coffee roasters such as Coffex, Coffico and Rio Coffee.
Australian Certified Organic

Australian Certified Organic is focused on protecting natural habitats and biodiversity, efficient water use, and minimising the use of chemicals in fertilisers and pest and disease management. These practices are strongly aligned with traditional coffee cultivation.

While certification programs are not perfect, logos can certainly act as a guide to sustainable products.

That said, products without logos aren’t necessarily unsustainable. Some small landholders with highly sustainable, shade-grown coffee can’t afford the expense of certification.

In this situation you can talk to your local roaster (or a distant one via the internet). Roasters may have direct relationships with their coffee growers and can tell you about their cultivation practices. Good questions to ask are whether the cooperative has any certification, whether the cultivation is organic or shade-grown, and whether the cooperative has any associated environmental programs.

Ultimately, a little knowledge of coffee cultivation and its impacts can go a long way in making wise and environmentally sound purchases. There is a huge range of coffee choices available, and good evidence that the choices you make can influence significant and positive environmental outcomes.

Aaron Gove, Adjunct Lecturer, Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

‘Clear Coffee’ that won’t stain your teeth

Brothers Adam and David Nagy have released ‘Clear Coffee’, a cold beverage that can be drunk from a bottle or used in cocktails, in their native Slovakia as well as the UK.

As The Evening Standard reports, one of the drink’s main selling points is that it won’t stain your teeth. It contains freshly roasted Arabica beans and water, but no preservatives, artificial flavours, stabilizers, sugar or other sweeteners.

The brothers came up with the idea while living in London.

“We are heavy coffee drinkers. Like many other people we struggled with the teeth stains caused by it. There was nothing on the market that would suit our needs so we decided to create our own recipe,” said David Nagy.

“Because of the hectic lifestyle we lead we wanted to make a refreshing ready-to-drink coffee which provides the boost but is low in calories.

“The production method is based on physical processing and doesn’t include any chemicals.”