A circular economy story

A circular economy story (3 min 15 s)

Added on October 1, 2021

Food scraps can be transformed to become a food source once again. That is what COOP Boomerang is doing by upcycling spent grains from microbreweries into super flour.

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A circular economy story (3 min 15 s)

Added on October 1, 2021 | Desjardins Group

Note: The information in brackets describes the visual and audio content of the video, and the rest of the text corresponds to the dialogue or narration.

[Background music]

[Drawings of a glass of beer, a seltzer and a cocktail appear on screen over a green background.]

Do you enjoy a good pint, some fine scotch or even a thirst-quenching mocktail? You're certainly not alone.

[The 3 glasses are replaced by a drawn map of Canada.]

[On-screen text: 50%. 1/week]

In Canada, over 50% of people have at least 1 drink a week.

[The map of Canada is replaced by rows of beer bottles covering the entire screen.]

[On-screen text: 2 billion litres]

In terms of beer alone, over 2 billion litres are sold every year. And where there's production, there's usually also waste.

[We see a bottling line at a brewery.]

But it's not as bad as it sounds. Because millions of tons of residual materials are actually diverted from landfills every year.

[Brewers' spent grain is extracted with a shovel. We see a bottling line and tanks.]

The vast majority of brewers and distillers give these materials back to farmers. So, what would have been waste is instead used to feed livestock.

[A farmer stands in a field at dawn. Cows are grazing on a pasture.]

Could these materials become part of our food supply as well?

[On-screen text: A tale of a circular economy with our members]

[Four people appear side by side on the screen.]

[Two arrows form a circle that spins in the middle of the screen, showing the 3 steps of the cycle.]

[On-screen text: Step 1 – L'amère à boire, Step 2 – Boomerang, Step 3 – Crémy Pâtisserie]

[Facade of L'amère à boire brewery]

[On-screen text: Step 1 – Production waste]

René Guindon: For about 25 years now, we've been brewing beer and generating spent grains.

[René Guindon stands behind the bar.]

René Guindon: Brewers' grains are the residual grains that come from brewing beer. For years, we've been trying to find a way to give these grains a second life, to repurpose these materials, which are still perfectly good for other uses.

[Close-up images of the beer dispenser overhanging the bar. René Guindon pours a beer. Transition from a full glass of beer to a full glass of dry brewers' grains. The first speaker, René Guindon, stands on the sidewalk overlooking his brewery and speaks to the camera.]

[On-screen text: René Guindon, co-owner – L'amère à boire]

René Guindon: The difference with Boomerang is that the supply chain is short and the materials are completely reclaimed.

[In the brewing room, a masked brewmaster cleans and prepares the equipment. He takes a lid off a tank. He uses water to clean pipe fittings and connections. He screws different end pieces to the tanks. He installs a chimney on the boiler.]

René Guindon: We're taking the materials while they're still fresh so they can be repurposed right away for human consumption. Each month, 1 ton of brewers' grains can now be reused instead of just becoming waste that ends up in our trash cans and landfills.

[Shot of 2 beer glasses side by side on the bar. The one on the right is full of beer and the one on the left is full of dry grains. Transition to the 2 Boomerang founders who open the door to and exit a freight elevator carrying plastic bins.]

[On-screen text: Step 2 – Processing]

Mathieu Gauthier: There are 4 founding members. We met about 2 years ago over a beer and decided to take action against food waste.

[Transition to the second speakers, Mathieu Gauthier and Tangui Conrad. Mathieu speaks to the camera.]

[On-screen text: Mathieu Gauthier, Co-founder, Business Development Manager/Tangui Conrad, Co-founder, Coordinator]

Mathieu Gauthier: Six months later we created Boomerang, which is a solution for reclaiming spent grains from microbreweries.

Tangui Conrad: We decided to tackle the problem of spent grains in an urban setting, and we made flour specifically because it allowed us to handle a high volume of spent grains and stabilize them.

Tangui Conrad: And, of course, flour is extremely versatile. It can be used in all sorts of different products.

[A shot of a banner bearing the Boomerang Coop logo. Both men are walking down a hallway carrying plastic bins. Close-up of the damp grains inside the plastic bins. The contents of the bins are poured into an industrial dehydrator. Mathieu presses the start button on the machine. The damp grains are stirred inside the dehydrator. The grains come out of the machine as dry flour, which is poured back into a plastic bin.]

Mathieu Gauthier: We started by approaching bakeries and pastry shops that could use the flour to make finished products. They're the ones with the expertise, so it seemed like they were in the best position to put the flour to good use.

[Mathieu and Tangui are working on the machine and collecting the grain flour. Close-up on the package label of the finished product containing zero-waste malted flour. Mathieu Gauthier and Tangui Conrad appear again on the screen. Mathieu is still speaking to the camera.]

Mathieu Gauthier: Now, we're developing cookie mixes that you'll be able to find right on grocery store shelves.

[Facade of Crémy Pâtisserie. Close-up of the logo overlooking the cash register and doughnut counter. Shot of the Ça beigne? sign inside the store.]

[On-screen text: Step 3 – Putting it to use]

Rémy Couture: Crémy Pâtisserie started as just a guy working in the restaurant business who wanted to make some desserts for his friends.

[Employees are serving customers behind the store counter. An employee is working in the kitchen. An industrial mixer mixes doughnut batter. The third speaker, Rémy Couture, appears on the screen and speaks to the camera.]

[On-screen text: Rémy Couture, Founder – Crémy Pâtisserie]

Rémy Couture: I was making cakes, then I got the idea to make doughnuts a few years after street food started to really take off in Montreal.

[Close-up of Rémy Couture's cookbook: "Veux-tu du dessert?" Rémy, wearing a mask, selects doughnuts from the counter using a pair of tongs and puts them in a box. Close-up of the full box of doughnuts.]

Rémy Couture: As of last year, I've got products in all the Metro stores in Quebec, which were launched as a collaboration with La Cage.

[Close-up of a box containing a Crémy cake. Close-up of a box of doughnuts.]

Rémy Couture: Trying this flour seemed like a natural next step because I was already putting dark beer my doughnut batter. It's interesting when you realize there's dark beer in my doughnut batter, but the crumble we use also goes into making dark beer. What we're doing is truly circular.

[Close-up of a Boomerang Coop grain bag. Rémy starts making doughnuts. He activates the mixer containing the crumble mixture. Close-up of the beater in the mixer. Rémy, behind the kitchen counter, cleans up the excess batter stuck to the beater. He puts the mixture on a baking sheet. Rémy separates the pieces of the mixture by hand. He puts the baking sheet in the oven. Close-up of the instrument Rémy uses to crack the cooked crumble on the sheet. He dips the doughnuts in the caramel and then covers them with crumble. Rémy puts the completed doughnuts onto a new baking sheet. Transition to Rémy Couture who appears again on screen. He is still speaking to the camera.]

Rémy Couture: Like the saying goes, nothing is lost, nothing is created, and everything is transformed. We're just trying to do as much of that as we can.

[Animation on green background.]

[On-screen text: Innovating together. For a different kind of economy.]

[End of the soundtrack]

[Desjardins logo]

[Desjardins jingle]

End of transcript