Cascara's Circular Economy

Upcycling cascara simply means that instead of the fruit surrounding the coffee bean going to waste, it is reused and repurposed. By upcycling cascara into Energy+, not only do we make a delicious drink for you to enjoy, but we are also creating a circular economy. Circular economies tackle global concerns like climate change, waste, and pollution. While more traditional linear economies take a resource, make it into a product, and then eventually discard that product (take-make-waste), a circular economy does its best to reuse all products (and byproducts) and create sustainable practices throughout the supply chain (make-use-recycle). 

A circular economy helps coffee farmers maintain an economically viable and environmentally sustainable coffee farm. With approximately 70-80% of coffee being grown on small farms, farmers often have limited resources to invest in new technology or machinery to update their farming practices. Additional income from the sale of cascara could help increase farming incomes and take care of potential environmental concerns as well. Here is how a make-use-recycle economy works:

  1. Make: The coffee harvest also produces cascara (mostly unused.)
  2. Use: Farmers can sell approximately 15% of their cascara to be used in high-quality food products, which generates additional income - a $261M opportunity for farmers around the world.
  3. Recycle: That extra income can be used to better manage compost that can be generated with the remaining cascara. This in turn would increase yields without costly (and not environmentally-friendly) synthetic fertilizer by utilizing the organic fertilizer, right under their noses.
  4. Result: Putting money back into the hands of coffee farmers helps to keep farms financially and environmentally sustainable, while mitigating the possible negative environmental impacts from coffee production byproducts.

With the circular economy Energy+ is creating, farmers may have the opportunity to generate additional revenue streams, decrease costs of synthetic fertilizer, and improve crop yields with organic compost. With Energy+ we have a delicious drink with the opportunity to increase incomes throughout a sustainable coffee production process. That is something we can all feel good about.

Grab a Riff and find out where we get our data in our science-based research study on cascara.