UK’s favourite coffee brand quadruples its roasting capacity to meet growing global demand
Costa, the UK’s favourite coffee brand, turns on its new £38m roastery today (13 March) signalling a major milestone in the business’ expansion to serve an increasingly global customer base.
The £38m new facility has more than quadrupled Costa’s roasting capacity from 11,000 tonnes of coffee per annum to 45,000 tonnes per annum, providing the platform for its national and global growth plans.
Rapid growth in the UK and internationally has driven up demand for Costa’s famous coffee. The new roastery is a response to that demand and will provide the infrastructure for sustained global expansion.
Construction started in November 2015 on a specially chosen site in Basildon, Essex close to Tilbury Docks where its raw coffee beans are imported.
Named Paradise Street, the new facility is one of Europe’s biggest coffee roasting facilities and covers 85,690 sq ft – or the equivalent of over 30 tennis courts – and will enable Costa to produce coffee for 2.1 billion cups of coffee per year. It is expected to operate for the next 20-30 years.
Dominic Paul, Managing Director of Costa, said: “Costa is growing rapidly as a global business and our new roastery will provide the platform for sustained international expansion as we continue inspiring the world to love great coffee. Turning on our new roasting capacity is a landmark for the business. It’s a statement of our ambition to grow and our passion for great coffee.”
“Roasting here in Basildon keeps the UK at the centre of our growing global brand and enables us to build on everything we have learned from more than four decades of roasting in Lambeth. Today is about quality, capacity, investing in the future and being true to our heritage – it’s about embracing our traditions whilst continuing to innovate and drive global growth.”
As well as roasting to the same great quality and flavour, the new roastery is carefully designed to improve efficiency.
Green coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance1 certified growers are shipped from coffee producing countries (“Coffee Belt”) to Tilbury Docks just 14 miles from the roastery – this is half the distance to the old Lambeth roastery meaning fewer road miles and much improved supply chain efficiency.
Once the beans arrive, new production methods now allow the receipt and storage of 24 tonnes of green coffee per hour – up from 6 tonnes at Lambeth. Whilst roasting that coffee, state-of-the-art in-house processes will increase productivity by 25 per cent compared to the previous roastery.
The new roastery also includes a new coffee academy to train 3,000 baristi per year, putting investment in people alongside investment in great coffee. Expert barista service is central to the Costa brand and customer experience.
Giorgio Fioravanti, Production Director, said: “When we were designing the roastery we had to focus on the long term. We are now able to produce 45,000 tonnes of coffee every year, with the future potential to expand to 60,000 tonnes.”
“This excellent new facility will enable Costa to grow for decades to come, as we look to go from the UK’s favourite coffee brand to the world’s favourite. The latest roasting technology we have here will help us to do that, slowly and carefully roasting every coffee bean to seal in the unique flavour of our coffee.”
Paradise Street will also be one of the most sustainable industrial buildings in the world and will operate on a zero waste-to-landfill basis.
On-site renewable energy generation will further reduce the building’s carbon footprint, with the roof hosting a 249kw solar PV system which will provide power for the roastery. In tandem with the rainwater harvesting system, this will also generate hot water for the building.
Already achieving BREEAM Outstanding (to latest standards) during its design stage assessment, the roastery is also shortlisted for the 2017 BREEAM Awards and aiming to receive a further ‘Outstanding’ certification at the final stage assessment.
1 Rainforest Alliance: Costa is the only coffee chain in the UK that only uses sustainably grown beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Find out more at http://www.costa.co.uk/responsibility/rainforest-alliance/
The design brief for the new roastery was to focus on quality and sustainability, ensuring that Costa’s high quality coffee standards were met but with the minimal environmental footprint, as Whitbread, Costa’s parent company, is targeting to reduce emissions by 15 per cent from its 2014/15 baseline by 2020.
Costa is therefore investing in ensuring its new roastery meets the highest environmental standards, targeted to achieve BREEAM ‘outstanding’ accreditation*, making it one of the top 10 industrial facilities in Europe for sustainability.
Contributing to its energy and water efficiency will be solar photovoltaic roof panels generating approximately 250 kW and a rainwater harvesting system for recycling and re-using water. The building and the internal roasting equipment will also have a wide array of other sustainability features, drawing on lessons learned from Costa’s innovative Eco Pod coffee shop and wider environmental innovation across Whitbread and its Premier Inn business.
* BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) is the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings. Find out more at http://www.breeam.org/
Costa is the UK’s favourite coffee shop, having been awarded “Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland" by Allegra Strategies for seven years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & December 2016).
With over 2,000 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,280 in 30 overseas markets, Costa is the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK. Founded in London by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971, Costa has become the UK’s favourite coffee shop chain and diversified into both the at-home and gourmet self-serve markets.
Costa is committed to looking after coffee-growers. As part of our commitment to look after coffee farm communities we established The Costa Foundation, a registered charity. The Costa Foundation's aims are to relieve poverty, advance education and the health and environment of coffee-growing communities around the world. So far, the Costa Foundation has funded 69 school building project to help improve the social and economic welfare of coffee-growing communities. The Costa Foundation has a target to build 100 schools by 2020. We also source 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee and were the first coffee chain in the UK to use sustainably grown beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.
Costa is committed to tackling the UK’s literacy challenge and is proud to be a signatory of the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge which started in 2016. In continuation of this commitment, and inspired by the Costa Book Awards and the ongoing work of the Costa Foundation, Costa launched its annual Reading Week in September 2016 in conjunction with over 500 schools across the UK.