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Cafetto’s organic odyssey

From the April 2020 issue.

Cafetto is changing perceptions surrounding organic products, proving that formulas using naturally sourced ingredients can be economically viable and high-performing.

Cleaning solution specialist Cafetto is bringing coffee’s cleaning sector into the spotlight of sustainability with the growing success of its organic product range. The range forms part of Cafetto’s strategy to promote a green future for the coffee industry and abolish the stigma that organic products are more expensive and less effective than their traditional counterparts.

“Cafetto has always been environmentally conscious. We decided very early in the business’ life not to only produce traditional products but also add organic products into our range,” says Doug Bolzon, CEO of Cafetto.

“In the last two to three years, we’ve really expanded that angle and made it a strong focus for our business. Sustainability is what everyone in the industry is talking about and is what the market is demanding.”

The organic collection includes 11 products designed to clean espresso machines, brewers, grinders, capsule machines, and tea makers to improve their performance and longevity.

In September 2019, the Australia-born company was accredited with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification 14001 Environmental Management System. The ISO is made up of 164 national standards bodies and confirms that Cafetto’s packaging and formulations, waste and energy management, and reporting and monitoring all meet or exceed global standards.

“We’ve always been ISO-accredited for Quality Management and Food Safety, and now we have upgraded our portfolio. Adding the Environmental Management System certification shows that we are always pushing the boundaries as far as possible to ensure we are at the forefront of sustainability in the industry,” Bolzon says.

“There are a lot of companies within the coffee business who are really respected for their work in this field but as far as we’re aware, there’s no-one else in our [cleaning and sanitation] industry who has received this accreditation. We want to continue to protect the environment and be at the cutting edge of preservation initiatives.”

To continuously seek improvements, Cafetto conducts daily internal checks on its processes and welcomes multiple external audits multiple times per year.

“Because we deal with chemicals, things like a stormwater system, which eventually flows out to the ocean, needs to be monitored carefully. We ensure that our waste management process is constantly being reviewed,” Bolzon says.

As well as being accredited, the company’s organic range has been certified via international NGO, the Organic Materials Review Institute and its domestic equivalent, Australian Certified Organic.

To earn this classification, Cafetto’s organic range contains ingredients that are sustainably sourced and free from genetically modified organisms and phosphates. The products are all certified for use in organic systems, which can help to satisfy consumers who value an end-to-end organic experience.

“All of our ingredients are sourced from naturally occurring products and elements,” Bolzon says.

“From raw materials to using recyclable packaging, the most important thing for us is to minimise our environmental footprint.”

While Cafetto has used recyclable packaging since its inception, one of the key challenges for the company moving forward is finding biodegradable solutions to store and transport its cleaning products safely.

“Biodegradability is our ultimate goal but, right now, options are limited. Packaging chemicals into biodegradable plastics is a significant challenge. Some products can be transported locally in small quantities, but when they are on a ship for months going to the other side of the world, it creates issues, as those materials just don’t hold up over travel,” Bolzon says.

“Having said that, we are optimistic that rapidly advancing technology will lead to options in the near future.”

Bolzon adds that Cafetto is always on the look-out for brand new developments, so it has people attend tradeshows and talk to suppliers regularly.

“People everywhere see the benefit of going organic. Europe is leading the charge and it’s filtering through to the rest of the world.

“We have ensured that our organic range is available at a very similar price point to our other products, so that any barriers to being more environmentally conscious can be removed. It’s been a very successful strategy so far.”

In addition to bridging the gap between price points, the other common hurdle Cafetto is working to remove is the idea that organic products lack performance. To overcome this stereotype, the company has heavily focused on research and development, and conducts rigorous testing to ensure its organic products are as, or more effective than traditional versions.

“Evo is the perfect example of this. It’s our first product and still growing in demand. Its organic and outperforms anything else we’ve tested,” Bolzon says.

Among the benefits of Caffetto’s Evo being created organically is that its ingredients are odourless and rapidly biodegradable.

“One of our missions is to prove that the traditional, deep-seated idea that these products don’t perform as well is entirely untrue. Once people see how effective they are, they are usually more than happy to switch over,” Bolzon says.

With sustainability driving the coffee industry forward, Bolzon believes it’s important for more businesses to adopt an eco-friendly approach to meet growing consumer expectations.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months, the sustainability space will be the most important place to be in. Everyone is talking about it and it’s only going to continue. If you want to secure a future in coffee, you need to embrace it,” he says.

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