Sustainability Spotlight: Voyager Coffee

Posted by
Voyager Coffee
Posted on
29 Mar 2023

This month our Sustainability Spotlight is shining Voyager Coffee in Buckfastleigh.

On the edge of Dartmoor National Park, Voyager hand roasts sustainable, award-winning coffees that are as vibrant and varied as the landscape that surrounds and inspires them.

National award winning VRQ City & Guilds BSA accredited training centre. Voyager Coffee offers a range of professional coffee and barista training courses to businesses from beginner level to Barista Championship standard at its coffee shop style training centre, The UK Coffee School SW.

What have you done to make your business more environmentally friendly?

In 2018, there wasn’t an option to get great coffee in sustainable packaging so the team gathered one morning to see what we could do to challenge this. We were all in agreement, someone had to do something to change this and since no one else was tackling this issue we felt it was our responsibility to do just that.

As you might imagine, developing a bag that keeps your coffee fresh but also breaks down quickly after use is a tough problem. We studied research from Bangor and Melbourne universities and worked with some manufacturers to find a bag that worked to protect the quality of our award-winning coffees.

Three years later and our customers are the heroes of the coffee world, helping us to accelerate the entire industry transition towards 100% compostable packaging.

We’re still constantly working on improving the ‘compost time’ in different environments while at the same time realising we’d be doing the farmers and our customers a disservice if our coffee were to go stale quicker. In a healthy compost heap with an internal temperature above 40°C our bags will both compost and act as a soil improver in twelve weeks.

What would you like to change in the future to improve your sustainability credentials further?

Coffee in itself is a high-impact product and its carbon-footprint isn’t going to be reduced to that of a local apple juice. However, we’d love to track the environmental impact of all our coffees from the farm right through to our customers’ cups and be able to add a complete carbon footprint to all our products. This would be visually apparent so buying decisions could be made based on these numbers which become highly useful to customers as more businesses begin tracking the carbon footprints of each of their products.

In pushing the industry to adopt the use of compostable packaging we’ve found that there is so much misinformation around environmental claims. This makes it hard for customers to make informed decisions. That’s why we always post details about our environmentally-driven decisions and adding the complete environmental impact as a measurable number on each product we produce is our obvious next step which would help to push the food and drink industry in a positive direction.

What tips do you have for other businesses that would like to become more sustainable?

Seek out the biggest problems in your industry. Be critical. What would actually make the biggest impact?

Then ask yourself if you’ve got the talent in your team to be able to tackle this problem, if not then bring in the right people. Commit to solving this problem wholeheartedly. That means allocating talent, time, and money into this. Don’t be afraid to get creative to work out how you’re going to bring this environmental solution to market.

Remember, if you’ve identified this as an environmental problem that needs solving within your industry AND it has a solution we urge you to pursue it because the world needs people like you bringing these product-based solutions to market.

To find out more about Voyager Coffee visit their Profile Page or website.



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