A calorie-free, plant-based sweetener from natural sources for a plant-based company! Stevia has been used in South America to flavour drinks for more than 200 years; the plant itself belongs to the chrysanthemum family. Though we don't use it in all products, we add stevia plant extract to our brews to subtly sweeten and bring balance to our Chai Concentrate and Mocha cold brews.
All our products are 100% plant-based and therefore dairy free, naturally lactose-free and free from animal protein.
To be labelled ‘gluten-free’, products must contain no more than 20 ppm of gluten. Our Oat M*lk based products are not quite that low, and while none of the ingredients directly contain gluten, we cannot claim they gluten-free.
We do have strict requirements being careful to monitor and minimise contamination, though. Because of this, we are able to ensure that all of our Oat M*lk-based products contain less than 100 ppm (mg/kg per product) gluten from rye, wheat and barley. This means that they are categorised as being 'very low' in gluten (containing between 21 and 100 ppm gluten).
We add small amounts of oil to our Oat M*lk to help create that smooth texture and mouthfeel. Rapeseed oil has a delicate and natural taste, and is low in saturated fats and is a good source of omegas 3, 6 and 9. The oil we use is GMO-free, and sourced from the UK and northern Europe.
Our efforts to minimize and improve our impact on the environment has been a core principle of Minor Figures since the start. One of our founders started KeepCup, and a lot of the experience and learning gained there has helped us start off on the right foot. It is something that we prioritize as we continue to develop as a company, and after extensive carbon auditing, we are now Carbon Neutral (backdated to 2018) and are very close to becoming B-Corp Certified, which means we uphold the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility.
All of our products are vegan, after Jimmy, our head taste-tester, opened our minds to a plant-based diet back in the early days. Since then we have committed to this promise, and even offer our staff a free vegan lunch each day (which we cook and eat together each afternoon). Though we do not force our staff to be vegan, we will not expense any non-vegan food on work trips.
We are trying to encourage the switch to plant-based on a mainstream scale with initiatives such as Freedays, which offers customers at select cafes free Oat M*lk coffees all day.
Though we also don’t force politics on anyone, we do encourage healthy discourse, peaceful protests and other progressive forms of discussion. We offer our staff a paid day each year to engage in activism – be that for environmental, animal or social justice.
We’ve become Carbon Neutral by effectively counteracting (‘offsetting’) the amount of carbon we emit as a company by investing in projects around that help reduce an equal amount of carbon emissions. This process involved a circular assessment of the impact we make as a whole, and to calculate the amount of carbon we needed to offset at the very minimum. We then joined forces with Climate Partner to help support two carbon offset programmes in Vietnam and Peru. You can find out more about these offsets and our move to carbon neutralityhere.
Minor Figures is an independently owned start up. We formed as a company by crowd-funding, and have since grown by partnering with carefully chosen investors, all of whom have a minority share in the company. The founders – Stu, Jonathan and Will – control the direction of Minor Figures and everything that we do. The investors are a mix of friends, family, and strategic partners, all of whom help us to scale and reach as many of you as possible.
We are constantly improving, from regular evaluation of our packaging and delivery operations, to sourcing coffee as directly and transparently as possible. Equally, we’re continually trying to resolve complicated issues, such as the least wasteful way of disposing of our used oats. We firmly believe that our moral responsibility as a company shouldn’t be seen as a list of boxes to tick, but an ongoing, evolving process.
All of our cans and cardboard packaging are fully recyclable. Our cartons are made using Tetrapak, which is recyclable depending on your local council or country; we’re looking for a more universally recyclable alternative for our cartons.
We are also in the process of eliminating all single-use plastic from our shipping packaging, using recyclable alternatives wherever possible. In the UK we currently partner with Noissue, who create fully-compostable packaging for our merch, and even plant trees with each order as part of the Eco-Packaging Alliance.
We’re always looking for ways to reduce any plastic used in stock we receive. This will come in stages, but we're on it!
We manufacture our Oat M*lk in Somerset, UK, so source our oats from as close to here as possible. This is mainly in the UK, but depending on farming cycles and availability we occasionally source from the Netherlands to meet demand.
Oat residue is the insoluble fibre that is left as a byproduct of brewing our Oat M*lk. This byproduct is given to farms for their livestock because it is far less wasteful than burning or disposing of it. This dilemma is something that we as a company have been trying to resolve for some time now, and are currently looking into using the residue in food products. We’re really excited to share our solution with you soon as!
Coffee is seasonal, so we change the origin of our coffee at certain times of the year to ensure we’re only using in-season coffee. Information about origin and varietal can be found at the back of our beans and coffee drinks.
We work with a speciality trade model. It’s a pretty complex issue, but in short fair trade vs speciality are separate systems.
Fairtrade is a way to guarantee minimum wage to the farmer. It's a good idea, however, Fairtrade does not relate to coffee quality. The Specialty coffee model pays a premium for quality. Although there is no certification process, and it's highly subjective, it does encourage farmers and roasters to consider longer term relationships based on continuous improvement, community support, sustainability, and ultimately – quality.
The more degrees of separation that exists along the production line between the bean and your cup, the harder it is to ensure farmers and producers are paid a fair price. That’s why we've partnered with Raw Material, who source green coffee directly with farms all over the world and guarantee a fixed, premium margin for their coffee, regardless of the constantly fluctuating market price.
Cold Brewing is a way of extracting coffee using cold water. This process is much slower than brewing hot, and because of that you will find flavours that are much more gentle, naturally sweeter and less bitter.
Often the process of bottling leads to unnecessary carbon emission, by packaging our Nitro in cans we are able to sell a product that is 100% recyclable and therefore has a significantly smaller carbon footprint.
This investment in packaging is very important to us and is helping us further build on our sustainable vision.