GroCycle is a project launched by Fungi Futures CIC, an innovative social enterprise based in Devon, UK. We have been growing Oyster mushrooms from waste coffee grounds since 2011, and are still hugely inspired by the scale of the opportunity. Our aim is to keep coffee waste out of landfill by using it to grow gourmet mushrooms. We’ve come a long way since our first year when we collected 5 tonnes of coffee grounds from cafes in Plymouth. The café staff took some while to get used to the sight of us walking off with their waste on our backs!
We’re now the proud operators of the UK’s first Urban Mushroom Farm in the heart of Exeter’s Princesshay Shopping centre. During 2015 we collected 17,000 kg of the cities coffee waste and put it to a great use.
The GroCycle project is all about finding innovative ways of meeting our aim – whether this is through growing Oyster mushrooms for local sale, our GroCycle Mushroom Kits, or teaching the technique so that it can be replicated in cities all over the world. Through our online courses we’ve already taught over 300 people in all continents of the world.
Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_GroCycle.pdf
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
1) Diverting waste from landfill
In the last year we collected and diverted more than 25,000kg of waste coffee grounds from landfill. These coffee grounds were then used as compost to grow gourmet mushrooms.
We have also created and run an online course which teaches people the growing process in greater detail, encouraging others to collect coffee waste in their local area and use it to grow mushrooms.
2) Key beneficiaries
The main beneficiaries from our work were the 7,500 people that grew their own mushrooms at home using one of our home growing kits.
We have also trained over 400 people around the world in more technical aspects of the growing technique.
3) Benefits created
Our grow kit customers have benefitted from the experience of growing and eating their own food. Many people remark that it was the first time they'd ever grown mushrooms and how exciting and enjoyable they found it.
In many instances people grew their mushrooms with their children and used it as a chance to teach them about where food comes from.
Our online course members have benefitted from accessing our in-depth knowledge at an affordable price and then in some cases using this knowledge to set up projects of their ownrecycling coffee waste into mushrooms.