• December 2023

  • Building connection through Friele’s community cafes

Since 2007, the Friele brand has supported Kirkens Bymisjon, a large NGO with a broad range of focuses. This organisation works across programmes on poverty alleviation, caring for the elderly or lonely, and providing counselling to those in need.


Connecting People

Friele supports Kirkens Bymisjon by providing a cup of coffee to spark conversation with people facing challenges in their lives. In 2023, Friele donated more than 1 million cups of coffee. In addition, every employee of Friele has the opportunity to donate a day of company time to volunteer with Kirkens Bymisjon.

We spoke to our Sustainability Manager for the Nordics, Ariadna Cantos Grau, about the community connections we’re creating over coffee.

I think as a big company, we have a responsibility to help our communities. They are giving a lot to us, so we need to give it back. And it’s important that we lead that, that it’s not just because it’s nice to do sustainability and have the check. I think it’s something that we really need to mean, and I mean it when I say, “Ok, we have the responsibility to give back to our communities.”

Ariadna Cantos Grau - Sustainability Manager, Nordics at JDE Peet’s

A culture of connection

All around the world, coffee is a route to connection for so many. When you’re drinking a warm cup of coffee with someone, conversations don’t tend to be discussions or disagreements. Instead, a shared moment allows us to pay attention to one another and enjoy a feeling of togetherness.

This is particularly true in Norway, where the average person drinks more than five cups of coffee per day. In fact, across the Nordic countries, where cold winters are synonymous with short daylight hours, these cosy moments at home are essential to creating a feeling of community.

As the oldest roastery in Norway, Friele is a brand that has been commonplace in the country since 1799. The familiarity of a cup of Friele fosters a sense of security, making it easier for people to openly share their challenges and have vulnerable conversations. That’s why our ongoing partnership with Kirkens Bymisjon has been so important for our communities in this region. One of the biggest charitable organisations in Norway, Kirken Bymisjon focuses on caring for vulnerable people and providing support for those struggling with everyday life. Their work includes providing specialist care for the young and the elderly, helping people find employment or take part in meaningful activities, and offering professional mental and physical health services.


Providing comfort in difficult conversations

Much of the Kirkens Bymisjon’s work takes place in their community cafes. Spread across 40 cities in Norway, these cafes offer people a chance to drop in for a conversation, to receive support or just have a moment of rest.

The informal setting encourages people to say what’s on their mind. For some people, it’s their past and their family they want to talk about, to focus on their life before or outside of the challenges of the present moment. For others, particularly those who might be in need of immediate support, it’s a chance to talk about their current situation and potentially find a way to improve things, while being accepted where they’re at. Each conversation comes with a warm cup of Friele coffee, which helps to cultivate a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.

Living our values

Beyond providing Friele coffee, JDE Peet’s associates in Norway have the opportunity to volunteer with Kirkens Bymisjon for one day each year during their regular working hours. In 2023, more than two thirds of the team chose to use this opportunity to give back to their community, which has led some to pursue regular volunteering on a private basis outside of work.

One of our associates told us: “I’m so proud of having this opportunity in my workplace. Helping those who need it the most and seeing the effect that has! This has also inspired me to be a volunteer on a private basis. I really love it.”

Volunteering in the community cafes has offered a real sense of purpose and community among our employees, demonstrating that these partnerships hold huge value for everyone involved.

In 2023, we donated more than 1 million cups of coffee to community cafes run by the Kirkens Bymisjon (Church City Mission) across 40 cities in Norway


Growing our community impact: programme expansion in the Nordics

Cultivating community has always been of great importance to JDE Peet’s. It is grounded in one of our three core sustainability pillars: Connecting People. As a portfolio of household brands, we are grateful for the level of familiarity our products can offer in community engagement initiatives like the one we have with Kirkens Bymisjon.

This engagement is about so much more than ticking a box or “doing sustainability”. Our communities give us so much and as a large company, we have the responsibility to give back to them.

Given the strength of coffee culture across all of the Nordic countries, we will soon be piloting another community engagement programme in Sweden. This project aims to combat loneliness in elderly communities. We hope that a warm cup of coffee might be the key to connection here, as it’s proven to be in local communities across Norway.