Back in May, we reported on Oatly’s Big Idea Grant for Coffee, a program whereby small US-based coffee companies with ideas on how to tackle sustainability issues in coffee could receive a grant from the Swedish alternative milk company to bring the initiatives to life. And now, Oatly has announced the seven winners.
Per Oatly, nearly 200 applications were submitted to the Big Idea Grant for Coffee program. Each application was reviewed by a committee of Oatly employees as well as an outside review board comprised of five industry experts, and submissions were judged on the criteria of “environmental sustainability, social and economic sustainability, execution, impact, and success tracking.” From the field of candidates, seven companies where selected. The winners are as follows:
Three Keys (Houston, TX): Projects will focus on transitioning to solar power, recycling and donating chaff to nearby BIPOC owned farms, and shifting to environmentally friendly packaging materials.
Build Coffee (Chicago, IL): Projects will focus on food access and forging a stronger, hyper-local food system that supports nearby neighbors and farmers on the south side of Chicago.
Don Carvajal (Bronx, NY): Projects will focus on a reusable bottling program and staffing to support implementation and tracking of all brand sustainability work.
321 Coffee (Raleigh, NC): Projects will focus on a solar powered coffee truck build and architecting a thoughtful, replicable model of inclusion for people with disabilities among the cafe community.
Junior’s Roasted Coffee (Portland, OR): Project will focus on setting up a coffee CSA program, and through the process and communication of this with customers, educate about the industry and create a blueprint for others.
Academic Coffee (San Jose, CA): Project will focus on building a virtual community space online for the coffee industry to share and discuss sustainability ideas.
1A Coffee Roasters (Wilimington, VT): Projects will focus on eliminating single-use cups, achieving net-zero or net-positive energy production by renewable sources and an analysis study of environmental conditions inside the roasting facility and coffee shop.
Though the individual grant amounts are undisclosed, each recipient will receive anywhere between $500 and $100,000 for their project, depending upon the initiative’s needs. Per Oatly, details on the recipients and updates their progress will be made available in the fall as the program begins to ramp up. For more information on the Big Idea Grant for Coffee, visit Oatly’s official website.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.