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Owens give their coffee sacks a new use at Dartmoor Zoo!

  • 2 min read

At Owens coffee sourcing the best quality organic and fair-trade beans are most important to us.  We also like to think we are as ethical as we can be, by only supplying recyclable takeaway cups, reusing our by-products where we can, and by having a low impact, environmentally friendly roastery.


We have lots of chaff (the skin or hull that comes off during the roasting process) and coffee grinds every week, which we try and pass on to organic growers.  It is perfect as a mulch or fertilizer.  As well as this we have a lot of deliveries of our most important ingredient – green coffee beans - and these all come in hessian sacks!

 We thought we would approach Dartmoor Zoological Park, to see if the sacks could be reused by them.  The answer was yes, they provide enrichment for the big cats, as they are so strong and sturdy, making the animals work for the food within!


The 30-acre Zoo is in Sparkwell, is the home of the hit film ‘We Bought a Zoo!’ and a must see attraction if you are visiting Dartmoor. Passionate about conservation and protection of endangered species, the DZP staff also work hard to improve captive animal management.  Hence the sacks!  So off popped a few of the team including Owens Marketing Manager, Lisa Chandler, to deliver some sacks and see them in action! 

 Tim Steward, Head of Maintenance and Clare Lee, Executive Assistant had a packed visit in mind. After admiring the pair of gorgeous tigers, Dragan and Alisha, and having a safety briefing, Lisa and Rowan were invited to help senior keeper Alex Betts take a sack with fish and a horse bone into the Jaguar enclosure and home to the handsome Chincha.  Of course, this magnificent animal was tucked up in his house, whilst the food sack was attached with a chain halfway up a tree, so no danger of any big cat encounter.  As soon as the gate was opened, out came Chincha dramatically making a very brisk beeline to what he knew was going to be a special treat!  He had to work really hard to rip the sack open and retrieve a bone; all adding to ensuring his life in captivity is as varied and interesting as possible. 


The reality though, was that it was an incredible treat for our team.  Lisa quoted ‘What a fantastic zoo, with friendly staff, and the animals were in such superb condition.  It was a real pleasure to watch our coffee bean sacks used in such a creative way for Chincha, and we are delighted to pass them on.  In particular, it was fantastic and rather appropriate, to see a South American animal getting use out of a South American product, as that was where these sacks came from!’

 Any time they need more sacks, DZP can just roar, and we will send them over!

 For more information on our coffee, and the countries the beans come from, visit our website at




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