CARE-Coffee: the up-scale


CARE-Coffee: the up-scale


2 March 2020 / 2 December 2020

VIDA Challenges

Resource-efficient food processing


Coffee is the second most traded resource in the world. The Dutch are in the top three of most coffee consuming countries. But with every cup we make, spent coffee grounds (SCG) remain. Yearly, we produce 120.000 tonnes of SCG in the Netherlands alone. The SCG is mostly incinerated or digested, and therefore valuable resources are lost. We are working on a biorefinery for SCG which recovers coffee oil and colourants and turns the residue in a biomaterial.

Within the VIDA subsidy we are focusing on setting up the process line in an operational environment. We will test the most efficient equipment and assess them on its resource efficiency (e.g. energy and water use) and compare the impact of our process compared to the current SCG treatment. Secondly, reproducibility of a stable end-product is key in our business case, hence, several input streams will be tested on their impact on our end product.

Currently, many valuable resources from the coffee bean are lost. Afterall, only 1% of the coffee bean is used to make coffee. Most coffee farmers are living in poverty and live from harvest to harvest; therefore, they do not have the means to invest in sustainable agriculture. This has an impact on their yield and quality of the beans and the biodiversity on their plantations. We aim to distribute the value we create, by getting more resources out of the coffee bean than just coffee, along the chain. By doing this, we provide an opportunity for the coffee farmers to invest in more sustainable agricultural practices. Herewith, we hope to make sure future generations can also enjoy a world with coffee.


Spaak Circular Solutions B.V.