Back to Hessian – good for the environment and saves money, too

The Drury Tea & Coffee Company, London-based coffee roaster and tea blender, is giving its customers the option of taking its roasted coffee beans in 12kg hessian sacks rather than the more conventional packaging of 10 x 1kg foil bags to a cardboard outer. The company says that this will not only help the environment, but it will also reduce the cost of the product by 20 per cent.
Drury Director, Marco Olmi describes the move as a ‘win-win’ scenario: “In recent years, the industry has moved towards the use of foil bags largely in order to extend the shelf life of coffee beans. That means ten foil bags plus a cardboard outer. By going back to hessian sacks, the company saves money on packaging and other overheads, which it is able to pass on to its customers. Hessian is biodegradable so, with the exception of an inner liner, no packaging material goes to landfill, which makes this option more environmentally friendly than foil. The sacks are endlessly recyclable as garden refuse bags or as insulation, for example – my kids even use them for sack races!”
The price of coffee has risen sharply on international markets recently and many Drury customers moving to hessian have realised tangible savings which have largely offset the recent price increase. The company gives the example of its Reale espresso coffee blend, which now has a list price of £92 for either 10kg in foil bags or 12kg hessian sacks – that’s the equivalent of two free kilos of coffee, or viewed alternatively, a saving of 20 per cent which equates to £18.40.
Drury stresses that the bulk sacks will not suit every business, only those that use sufficient volumes of coffee to avoid shelf life problems. An additional caveat is that stock rotation of the coffee is vital.  However, since Drury roasts the coffee to order, it is delivered with the maximum possible shelf life.
Marco continued: “The move generates cost savings in terms of packaging material, energy and labour, which we are happy to pass on to our customers. A further environmental advantage of buying Drury coffee is that it is processed in the UK, unlike some continental brands, which incur additional carbon emissions by being roasted abroad and imported by road”.