Here at Three Llamas, we pride ourselves on our ongoing efforts to increase our sustainability. We are a small business that understands the impact we have. We have taken significant measures to reduce our waste in both our retail and wholesale space. Just four years ago we undertook several measures including switching nearly all our wholesale customers from bagged coffee to re-usable buckets or containers. Coffee bags are currently not recyclable and over the last four years we estimate we have saved over 20,000 bags from landfill.
Within the roastery and retail area itself, we limit the amount of waste and plastic use and incentivise others to reduce their waste too. This includes, but not limited to, giving the local produce owner a reusable cup as they were consuming more than 15 coffees a week, a loyalty discount for others that use reusable cups, reusing plastic storage bags for as long as possible before using them as rubbish bags, giving the coffee grinds to a local community garden, and giving the coffee sacks to a local beekeeper for use in his bee hives.
Perhaps one of our most important directions in efforts to become more sustainable, is our ongoing consultation with experts in the field of sustainable practices. Last month we had another of our Eco-educate audits. This pushes us to come up with new ideas and practices. An example of a newly executed idea is that the plastic, that lines the coffee sacks, is donated to a beach clean-up volunteer organisation, for their clean up activities.
However, with all that has been said, you cannot talk about a coffee roastery without the mention of the outstanding growers. We directly import the majority of our unroasted coffee from a grower co-op in Northern Peru that we have a special relationship with. We pay the co-op significantly higher than the commodity or fairtrade pricing minimums, that are industry standard, as we believe our pricing structure is more honourable. The growers, in turn, get more money to invest in their communities and plantations, and we get access to continually improving quality coffee beans.
On the local front as small business in a small community we support local groups, charities, and sporting organizations as much as we can via donations of products, time, and direct funding.
Our sustainability efforts are ongoing and we will continue to stive for improvements and do our 'our bit' in moving towards a sustainable future.