Vivace Espresso & partners commit to good coffee cups

27 February, 2019 by
Hospitality Business

Making a stand as a responsible Kiwi business, locally owned and operated Vivace Espresso  has partnered with Innocent Packaging and Māia Health Foundation to introduce a fully commercially compostable takeaway coffee cup to its cafés nationwide from today, 27 February. The proceeds of beverages sold in the new cups will also help raise funds for vital healthcare redevelopment in Christchurch and enhancing regional health services for the South Island and lower North Island.

General Manager for Vivace Espresso Paul Baker says his company chose to partner with Innocent Packaging and Māia Health Foundation because they are two Kiwi organisations committed to measurable change.

The Vivace Espresso compostable cup will feature Māia Health Foundation branding and a QR code for two years, helping to spread their story and raise some much-needed funds to enhance regional health services. Canterbury based Vivace Espresso, which supplies and distributes its coffee nationwide, will donate a portion of proceeds of each carton of cups sold back to Māia Health Foundation, approximately $10,000 per year.

Canterbury DHB provides a range of services for NZ patients, including being one of the two national healthcare providers of hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment and spinal cord impairment services. Canterbury’s health system is also responsible for healthcare that covers the whole of the South Island including Radiation Oncology and Gynaecological Oncology, Air Retrieval, Cardiothoracic Services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Patients from the lower half of the North Island and the entire South Island who require Paediatric Oncology have their treatment managed at Christchurch Hospital.


“I came across Māia Health Foundation about 18 months ago, when I attended a function for one of their ambassadors, Christchurch Boys’ High Cancer survivor Jake Bailey,” said Baker.

“I knew at the time that I wanted the company to be able to support the foundation in some way and it is great to finally see it coming together.

“We are well aware that Maia Health is also fundraising for a future-proof rooftop helipad at Christchurch Hospital with $260,000 to go so every contribution helps.”

“The redevelopment of Christchurch Hospital is the largest in our nation’s history and with some patients having to travel from all over the South Island to receive specialist treatment only provided in Canterbury. We feel this is a cause many of our Kiwi customers will feel passionate about, just like we do,” says Baker.

Making a difference, one cup at a time

Vivace Espresso is also shaking up the recycling industry by introducing compostable cups in all its cafes nationwide via plant based packaging company Innocent Packaging.

“The problem we face is that only 5 percent of consumers are committing to reusable cups and Vivace Espresso coffee is sold in approximately 1.3 million cups per year,” said Baker.

“New Zealand can’t recycle plastic, everything ends up in the landfill. We have two options, either create more plastic recycling facilities or compost infrastructure,” Baker said.

While conversations around waste disposal are underway at Council and Government levels with Innocent Packaging consulting on infrastructure requirements, Baker said Vivace Espresso wanted to make changes to its environmental impact now.

“These new cups and lids will break down very fast, are not chemical based and not harmful to the ground they lie on. There is no ‘greenwashing’ going on here.” said Baker.

General Manager for Innocent Packaging Fraser Hanson said working with Vivace Espresso was a no-brainer, “We want to work with the best, and Vivace Espresso is a long standing premium Coffee Roaster and like us it’s 100% New Zealand owned and operated,” he said.

“For us it’s about product stewardship – we are a responsible business and believe any responsible business should take responsibility for every aspect of their impact,” said Hanson.

“Currently, there isn’t a blanket rule country-wide for composting and there is a lot of confusion around what is acceptable and what isn’t.”

A survey conducted by the Packaging Forum last year found that 61% of New Zealanders believe paper cups can be recycled and 45% say compostable cups can be put in the recycling.

“Despite public opinion, to my knowledge, zero coffee cups in New Zealand have ever been recycled. In fact, there is no recycling system for coffee cups in New Zealand. They are always destined for landfill unless collected and composted which is available in some areas of the country,” said Hanson.

Only 11 commercial composting sites in New Zealand accept compostable coffee cups. Hanson said more needs to be done and is currently in talks with local councils and the Government to implement more waste collection and composting services.

In the meantime, Innocent Packaging has tried to clarify the confusion and increase composting outcomes by adding a message on the cup to show it is compostable.

Because of the varying nature of local composting infrastructure, Vivace Espresso will have systems in place for its retailers by way of café signage, staff education and making bins available where appropriate to ensure consumers are aware of how best to compost their cup for their location.