Stronger together cafe ACTION summit 

The Stronger Together Cafe Summit we hosted may have finished, but it’s incredible insights, inspiration, information and advice must live on! And that is why we are proud to give this unmissable digital summit its very own home. We are calling all cafe owners and coffee lovers alike to view the course and download the resources at any time, at any place, and to share it far and wide… with a latte love! 

Over the month of March 2021, an amazing group of cafe owners, industry experts and passionate participants came together for the Stronger Together Cafe Summit. We envisioned a Community of Purpose – a connected network of responsible and profitable cafes that lead their communities towards a regenerative future! 

Here at Responsible Cafes, we want our cafe community to absolutely THRIVE in 2021, and we are providing all the resources here for you to do so! Small businesses can truly have an enormous impact on local communities, so we are handing over the tips and tricks to becoming amazingly Responsible Cafes, one step at a time.

SO, IF you are interested in any of the following… 

  • Gaining unique insights and inspiration from leaders in the field
  • Enhancing your business ethics and values to drive responsible business
  • Investigating zero waste and circular economy thinking to inspire café innovation and stand out from the crowd
  • Engaging with customers to provide greater value and exceptional service
  • Leveraging sustainable supply chains to increase social, environmental and economic impact and save running costs


Intro Summit

In the kickoff session on March 2nd, we started off with a bang reimagining the future of cafes! With cafes hit hard by the pandemic, especially in the pivot to takeaway, it is so important we engage with innovative thought leaders to help us navigate these times and hold onto our values. 

In the first Summit, we heard from a brilliant lineup of speakers:

  • First was Janet Salem from the United Nations speaking all about food systems, food waste, plastics and the global issues affecting the cafe industry.
  • Next up was Dr Adam Carr from Seven Miles Roasters, an expert on coffee science and technology, with an industry perspective on 3 major cafe trends to watch to be a sustainable business!
  • Providing a unique and personal cafe perspective about surviving and thriving through COVID was Hana Assafiri – owner of the Moroccan Soup Bar. 
  • Lastly, we heard from our lovely ambassador, author and activist Sarah Wilson about moral courage, reconnecting to personal values and imagining a better way forward. 

So grab a coffee, sit down and check out this video which was developed to kickoff the summit in all its glory!

WATCH Action summit 1

Enter… the ACTION Summits! Our four Action Summits provide resources, inspirations and plans to help drive your own impact and profitability. After all, being a responsible business not only acts as a model for others to live responsibly… it is also a great business proposition! 

We are exploring three key themes in the action summits. New ways of thinking, new ways of doing, and new ways of engaging.

The first Action Summit discussed new ways of thinking to reimagine a Responsible Cafe. The key question of the Summit was: How can we use design thinking and circular thinking for cafe innovation? 

So, let’s hear what our awesome lineup of speakers had to say!

  • First up was Sally Hill from NSW Circular who explained what circular economy thinking is and how it applies to cafés. 
  • Kim Potter from Circular Cafes identified closed-loop cafe initiatives and the role councils play in a circular economy.
  • The brilliant Sav and Lachlan from Planet Ecologica introduced us to design thinking with their product I Am Not Paper
  • This Summit, we spotlighted our first in a series called Cafe That is Killing It!

Action summit 2

In the second Action Summit, we were introduced to new ways of doing as a force for good – with a focus on improving performance and procurement. The question of the day was: How can we secure sustainable supply chains for cafe success? 

Once again, we were lucky enough to be joined by experts in the field, inspirational cafe owners and awesome entrepreneurs to hear their insights and ideas on sustainable supply chains. 

  • Molly Harriss Olson, the CEO of Fairtrade Australia New Zealand, kicked us off discussing what fair trade is and how it works.
  • Jen Sheridan from the Open Food Network had some amazing advice for cafes to create a food system that is fair, local, and transparent.
  • We spoke to Michael McFarlane – part of the team behind the world-first HuskeeSwap program
  • This week, we shone a well-deserved spotlight on two Cafes That Are Killing It!

Watch our vid to learn some super-responsible tips and begin making small changes to secure sustainable cafe supply chains. 

Action summit 3

Enter our third Action Summit. Following the same theme (new ways  of doing as a force for good), the third Action Summit looks at People and Planet. Our core question is ‘How can we create a positive impact on people and the planet?’.

Now, we know that’s a BIG question to ask – but we are here to break it down. The People & Planet Summit explored the environmental impacts of a cafe, milk alternatives, compostables and connecting to people and community.

  • Featuring for the second time this Summit (and no wonder given his insane knowledge), is Seven Miles resident coffee expert Dr Adam Carr – with a holistic analysis on the planet impact of a cafe. 
  • We spoke to Rachel Glasbergen, a representative from one of our partner companies The Alternative Dairy Company all about plant-based milks. 
  • Marion Vigot then shone a light on compostable alternatives and the full story on compostability!
  • Finally, our very own Jo Horsley was interviewed about the ‘People’ side of things.

    Action summit 4

    And before we knew it, the final Stronger Together Cafe Summit was upon us! The last Action Summit on March 30th was all about celebrating and sharing your impact. We looked at new ways of engaging to increase impact. The focus question this week was: How can we share responsible cafe stories and engage the community?

    Let’s embark on this week’s speaker summary: 

    • Jane Stewart (a face you will recognise by now!) started us off with Responsible Business 101.
    • Next we heard from one of the OG members of the Responsible Cafes movement, Catherine Leach from Catfish Creative! 
    • The Responsible Cafe story is followed on by Jo – speaking more recently about the difficulties of the pandemic, looking at reusables and reevaluating Responsible Cafes.
    • Our final guest was the amazing Claire Maloney from The Bravery on Communication 101. The Bravery is a purpose-led PR agency that works with grassroots organisations like RC to tell their story.
    • This week was an opportunity to involve our participants, to ask an expert or cafe leader your burning question and have the Roundtable discuss.
    • Where to from here? Jane rounded us up with a recap of the online Summit – an inspiration and toolkit to continue your journey to sustainability through great speakers, discussion, cafe examples and an action-oriented playbook. Now more than ever, it is important to continue the journey!

    Check out the entire final Action Summit here for amazing engagement and story sharing advice, stimulating discussion and an inside look into what’s to come for Responsible Cafes!

    And that, as they say is a wrap – the Summit reaches its conclusion! We had loads of fun and learnt and heard from 20 speakers and 10 cafe leaders throughout the online series – and they all had unique tips and tricks on the path to responsibility! 

    But don’t let the Summit momentum stop. Five weeks of amazing Summit content is all right here for you at any time. You can choose to listen to one speaker, one video, or the entire Summit and this platform can be shared far and wide. So whether you are an avid coffee drinker, a cafe owner, or just a good ol’ responsible keen bean – we know there is something for you here! 


    We are eternally grateful for the support of our partners without whom we could not offer this incredibly diverse and rich series of online content. 


    Our paper doesn’t grow on trees, and our plastic won’t hang around forever’.

    Rolling from PlantPulp™, to start with, Planet Ecologica have created I AM NOT PAPER™ & I AM NOT PLASTIC™ brands as ‘sexy as funk’… yes funky alternatives to traditional & boring paper and plastic consumable products. Our image and products are set to attract a younger audience and the young at heart being part of the ‘post-paper/ post-plastic generation’.




    Our council partners are a huge support to Responsible Cafes and making this event available to cafes in their local area. View our list of over 50 council partner here or learn more about becoming a council partner and the benefits of doing so here.