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A Revolution Is Brewing

Published on Dec 12 2012 3:05 PM in Drinks

A Revolution Is Brewing

Ireland’s leading fresh coffee brand Bewley’s have launched a new coffee programme which places a premium on sustainability.

‘Beeco’ will take an innovative approach to coffee production and supply by prioritising the use of Fairtrade ingredients, energy efficient equipment, the use of carbon credits to offset the manufacturing process and the employment of up-cycled and re-cycled materials in the coffee station and in point of sale materials.

As the first importer of Fairtrade coffee in Ireland, Bewley’s already boast a noteworthy track record of paying attention to issues like sustainability and supporting the durability and long term success of coffee producing communities.

Now, beeco has seen the company partner with a Peruvian Fairtrade coffee cooperative, CEPICAFE. Having recognised that the effects of climate change on Arabica coffee production were likely to lead to worldwide shortages in the supply of high quality coffee, as well as an exodus from growing by smaller coffee producers, Bewley’s forged a relationship with the cooperative and over the past year have purchased almost 20,000 kg of coffee from them for use in the beeco programme.

In order to overcome deforestation and changing weather patterns, the Peruvian producers began planting trees around their coffee beans; reducing Co2 in the atmosphere as well as providing shade and nourishment for the beans. They also began selling carbon credits for every tonne of carbon captured by their growing trees.

As part of the company’s carbon reduction initiatives, Bewley’s began purchasing the carbon credits and using them to offset the emissions from their own business activities. Both the company and its customers stand to benefit from the process, with emissions from the coffee production process mitigated by the purchasing of carbon credits, and the investment at the supply chain source guranteeing the production of the highest quality coffee.

Beeco outlets will also benefit the environment by employing equipment programmed to use less energy, as well as compostable coffee cups and rec-cycled point of sale material.

Bewley’s marketing manager Carol Geary explained that the new initative will benefit both producers and consumers alike.

“This 360 degree sustainable coffee programme promotes the lives of farmers and protects the environment, while also producing a superb, delicious Fairtrade coffee. We wanted to develop a programme that delivered value to all of the key stakeholders across the coffee supply chain but one that also highlights the growing concerns surrounding sustainable food and beverage supply.”

The first standalone beeco outlet has been operational at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) for the past three months, and early indications suggest that the initiative is proving popular with consumers. Volume sales of cups of coffee at the outlet are up by 8% on the same period last year, and customers have been actively seeking out the offer.

The Bewley’s beeco programme is also being introduced to campus outlets in both Dundalk IT and NUI Galway, in partnership with ARAMARK Food Services.

 

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