By: Holly Kragiopoulos 22 May 2019
We are sooooooooo excited to announce that our new packaging will be in place for all orders from next week! (wc 27th May)
Our current branding has served us well the past 5 years and has (we think) perfectly communicated the feel of our business which focuses hugely on the producer relationships we have worked hard to cultivate. In the last three years, the quality of training and education that we offer to our customers has become of increasing importance leading to the establishment of the North Star Coffee Academy. Our drive for ever improving quality is paramount thanks to the impact we are seeing at origin with more and more farmers looking to the production of specialty to escape the exploitation they face when selling on the international coffee market which is (at best) putting many out of business.
The new look and feel of North Star serves to further emphasise our focus on quality and ethics with a cleaner and more contemporary vibe displaying the beautiful symbols that have become synonymous with our coffee over the last 5 years. The mastermind behind it all is the fantastic Jon Simmons who we have been working with pretty much since we started to develop a range of icons that represent something about the country we are buying from – be that an emblem from the nation’s flag/currency or something that represents a unique landmark or animal that is native to that country.
Along with what we feel is an improvement to the design, the main factor of importance to us when contemplating this move was whether we could improve our environmental credentials. As a business committed to working in a manner that is environmentally and socially responsible, it has always been a real frustration that we have been unable to provide our product in recyclable packaging. In order to maintain and preserve the quality of the coffee we roast, we need to pack it into a bag with a one way valve that will allow carbon dioxide to escape (and therefore for the beans to rest) but stop oxygen from entering the bag (prolonging the shelf life and preventing staling). These valves are nearly always made from plastic which, when combined with the foil and paper in our old bags, meant that recycling them was not an option. Thankfully, we discovered a company in the Netherlands producing a bag that is carbon neutral in its manufacturing process and that produces a bag designed to guarantee quality and freshness whilst also being recyclable with other plastic waste. We know that a plastic bag is far from ideal given the issue we are facing globally but there is simply no system in place for dealing with residential biodegradable waste (unless you have a compost) meaning most biodegradable materials end up in landfill where they do not break down effectively. We are absolutely not suggesting that this is the perfect solution but do believe it is a better one than we had and we are committed to constantly reviewing the options out there to ensure we are providing the best possible options to our environmentally conscious customers.
The sleeve that surrounds the bag has been manufactured by Pressision in Pudsey who we have worked with for a long time now and who utilise paper made from recycled single use coffee cups in the production of them. We have decided to print just the origin on the front of the sleeve and have then added the farm specific information onto the back utilising a label we print in house so that we can keep the printing costs at an affordable level to save us from increasing our pricing – this also goes a long way to reducing wastage of labels we have previously had to have printed but have not ended up using.
Oh, and we have switched to biodegradable tape too which can be disposed of with the cardboard box 🙂
We cannot wait to hear your thoughts/comments and feedback and welcome any questions you might have about our new (and we think better looking) range!