| Sweden

Circle K and Löfbergs reprocess unused coffee into new beverage range

In the year since Circle K and Löfbergs launched the Rescued Coffee sustainability project, 26 tons of coffee that would likley have been wasted has been sold at Swedish petrol stations instead

The Rescued Coffee project has resulted in 26 tons of rescued coffee beans being sold at Circle K stations across Sweden | Photo credit: Löfbergs

A partnership between US convenience retailer Circle K and Swedish coffee roaster Löfbergs is reprocessing coffee that otherwise would be discarded in the production process into a new product range sold at Circle K fuel stations.

The Rescued Coffee project has resulted in 26 tons of rescued coffee beans being sold at Circle K stations across Sweden during 2021 that otherwise would have been deemed waste, saving 120 tons of carbon dioxide in the process. 

Coffee may be rejected from the normal flow in production for a variety of reasons, such as the barcode or packaging being damaged, or the degree of roasting or grinding not being exactly as intended.

Circle K, which has approximately 760 fuel stations across Sweden, says the coffee saved has been transformed into a new range of hot coffee beverages sold across its outlets, inlcluding a dark-roast coffee with notes of dark chocolate and dried fruit.

“It is great that the rescued coffee has been so appreciated, and I think that we have successfully created really exciting flavours with the rescued coffee beans. When beans that risk being wasted are used as raw material for new products, they suddenly get a value and become an important driving force in a circular economy,” said Martin Löfberg, Chief Purchasing Officer at Löfbergs.

The cooperation aligns with Löfbergs’ goal to generate zero waste, with the coffee group, which also operates the Peter Larsen Kaffe, Percol and Kobbs brands, reporting that only 0.5 percent of the coffee produced by the company is now discarded.

Löfbergs has also launched the Circular Coffee Community, an initiative inviting consumers and companies to find solutions that contribute to a circular coffee industry with zero waste.

Cathrine Löfberg, chairman of the board at Löfbergs, was also recently appointed the new chair of the coffee&climate (c&c) sustainability initiative, which aims to strengthen the resilience of smallholder coffee farming families in Indonesia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Brazil, Honduras, and Guatemala. 

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