A Cambridgeshire business has secured a £500,000 investment from the East of England Regional Growth Loan Scheme, managed by The FSE Group, which will support an increase in production to meet rising demand for its eco-friendly products.
Receiving thousands of tonnes of coffee grinds from some of the biggest domestic and global brands, including Costa Coffee and Greggs, bio-bean produces a range of sustainable bio-products and is the world's largest recycler of spent coffee grounds.
Products include its flagship Coffee Logs, an environmentally friendly substitute for mass imported woods and carbon-heavy coals; Inficaf, a raw material for use in bioplastics, cosmetics, packaging, automotive friction (e.g. brake pads) and more; natural flavouring extracts for sustainable alternatives in the food and beverage industries; and coffee biomass pellets for use in industrial-scale biomass boilers.
George May, bio-bean Managing Director, said: “As a seasonal product for use in wood burners and open fires, we see a huge surge in demand for Coffee Logs during the autumn and winter months. We are grateful to FSE for its forward-looking approach to funding; this Regional Growth Loan has allowed us to ramp up production in advance of orders being received, which means we can manufacture at full capacity to meet demand and help more retailers offer this sustainable product to their customers.”
If not recycled, used coffee grinds are typically wastefully discarded either in landfill, where they emit the greenhouse gas methane, or in anaerobic digestion. Processing grinds into Coffee Logs saves 130% more emissions than anaerobic digestion. Having built the world's first waste coffee recycling factory, bio-bean has successfully industrialised the process of recycling waste coffee grounds for sustainable use.
Allen Hall, Head of Funds (East) at The FSE Group, added: “bio-bean is already a successful operation that has established sales in a number of retail outlets including Tesco, B&Q and Waitrose. The management team has invested heavily in product development and production capability and now has an opportunity to scale up in line with market demand. There is a substantial domestic and global market for its range of sustainable products and we are delighted to be supporting this innovative, green-focused business to achieve its goals for growth.”
The Regional Growth Loan Scheme (RGLS) is managed by The FSE Group on behalf of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the East of England. Loans between £50,000 and £500,000 are available to established incorporated businesses based within the East of England that have a minimum annual turnover of £100,000. The funding can be used for a range of growth activities as well as to service short to medium-term trade and contract finance requirements. The scheme aims to stimulate job creation and economic prosperity and supports SMEs that have the potential to deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the East of England region.