Long Journey of a Jute Sack

When green (unroasted) coffee arrives at the Muskoka Roastery, it comes in jute bags containing 60-70kg of beans. But, that is far from the beginning, or even the end of the journey for the jute.

Jute is a natural vegetable fibre grown primarily in the warm, wet monsoon climates of Bangladesh and parts of India. It has the advantage of being eco-friendly versus non-biodegradable polybags made from petroleum, or paperbags which require large quantities of wood.

Brazil, which is the largest coffee growing country in the world, imports raw jute and processes the material into sacks. This picture shows a coffee warehouse in Brazil with green coffee piled high in jute sacks, ready for export. Our green coffee holding area is just a little bit smaller!

We’re happy that the coffee industry’s primary packaging uses a natural, renewable fibre which, unlike cotton, does not require supplementary irrigation or large quantities of pesticides and fertilizer to grow. We’re also happy that the usefulness of jute does not end when we have emptied the bags at the roastery. Many of our bags go to a local garden centre to wrap the roots of young trees and shrubs. The biodegradable jute can be planted directly into the ground without disturbing the roots.

The jute bags are also in high demand around the community – which is why we donate ours to our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The ReStore then happily sells the bags to farmers and DIYers for 100% profit.
Posted on 4 June 2011

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