Ecotone opens European organic coffee and tea factory
Ecotone, a European producer of organic, plant-based, ethical, and sustainable food, has opened the continent’s largest 100% organic coffee and tea factory.
The company, which owns brands across seven countries, has launched Caféière in a ten-million-euro investment to meet growing demand for quality, organic hot drinks.
With financial support from the European Union and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), La Caféière is exemplary of Ecotone’s global ‘Food for Biodiversity’ mission – through which it strives to meet high environmental and sustainability standards.
La Caféière has been installed with a roasting smoke burner which cuts C02 emissions by 30% compared with traditional methods. Through green energy, wetland water management, 100% LED lighting and photovoltaic roof panels, the plant is taking a global approach to energy efficiency.
The factory also operates a 0% landfill, 100% circularity policy. 85% of total leftover materials are recycled or reused in compost, and 15% are incinerated with energy recovery.
Through its commitment to producing exceptional organic coffee and tea, the factory will harness traditional production methods such as slow roasting to create unique aromatic balances. Three roasters and an R&D team work on site to ensure that the different vintage coffees are made to the finest quality.
More than 60% of La Caféière’s sales will now be through Fairtrade certified products. The aim is to achieve over 70% Fair Trade coffee and tea within two years.
The term “caféière” refers to a plantation of coffee trees, the shrub from which the coffee beans come. These plantations are originally islands of biodiversity, because the 80 species of coffee trees in the world thrive in rich and varied ecosystems.
To preserve biodiversity, the coffee cherries are hand-picked when ripe from high-altitude plantations and mainly come from organically grown and reared ‘Coffea arabica’ coffee trees in Central and South America and East Africa. The cherries are then washed and air-dried by partner producers to create a dense, transportable, and storable green coffee.
The coffee and tea sectors that supply La Cafétière are demonstrate agricultural practices, which go further than organic standards. This includes the diversity of plant species grown per plot (agroforestry), fair income for small producers, and positive action by partner cooperatives to combat deforestation in their areas.
La Caféière holds six certifications: Organic, Fair for Life, Fairtrade/Max Havelaar, Qualité Artisan, Bio Entreprise durable, and B Corp.
Local associations also work with La Caféière, such as a local ESAT for the social and professional integration of adults with disabilities, and the Bordeaux and Gironde food bank for the redistribution of products.
La Caféière, is the next milestone in Ecotone’s journey to reimagine a sustainable future of food, driven by its brands: Destination, Naturela, Clipper, Bonneterre, Alter Eco, and Piramide.
Key figures for La Caféière
180 organic tea and coffee products
60 direct jobs
9500 m2 (including 8000m2 dedicated entirely to the coffee factory)
3200 tonnes of organic coffee received each year
5.5 million units of organic coffee sold annually
12 organic coffee origins, i.e., around thirty green coffee material codes
60% of coffee sales generated by fair trade labelled products
100 ref coffee products
100 tonnes of organic tea produced each year
80 references of tea products
72% of tea sales made with fair trade labelled products