ED&F Man’s coffee business, Volcafe, has been trading coffee since 1851. Today, we provide beans for 80 billion cups each year and there is only one thing we prioritise above coffee itself – partnership.
For our customers, we provide access to all the major coffee producing origins, from individual farmers selling a few kilos of coffee cherries in Papua New Guinea to large plantations in Brazil that deal in hundreds of tonnes of export-ready product. Our long-term customers value our efficiency, innovation, dependability and market insight.
For our suppliers, many of whom we have known for generations, we provide certainty and support. Our farmer support programme Volcafe Way works directly with farmers to train them in sustainable production techniques and good agricultural practices.
At Volcafe, we work hard at being the partner of choice. With 167 years of experience, we know what it takes to keep our customers and suppliers happy.
From single-origin micro-lots to mainstream commercial grades and customised blends, we have the expertise and assets to get coffee to you efficiently and reliably.
Our strength in origins and commitment to sustainable supply mean you’ll always get what you asked for – that’s our promise to you.
Strategic partners for the long term
Close partnerships at origin
with key supply-chain assets and ‘boots on the ground’.
Transparent three-way relationships
between you, farmer communities and Volcafe.
Partnerships on rejuvenation and sustainability projects
aligned with our shared values.
A long, deep-rooted heritage
in coffee across the entire supply chain.
Flexible and agile solutions
with benchmark standards of service and market insight.
Innovation and opportunities
Our Sustainability Strategy is an ambitious, overarching plan to achieve Volcafe’s vision for a thriving, sustainable coffee business for all. It builds on years of projects delivered by Volcafe teams around the globe, including our Volcafe Way activities, bringing structure and cohesion by focusing on three key areas: Sustainable Profitability; Regenerative Practices and Responsible Citizenship.
We occupy a key position in the global coffee supply chain linking farmers in the field with roasters in the market. We’ve earned a reputation as a go-to partner for sustainability projects that deliver on-the-ground impacts while achieving the aims of our customers.
Now our plans have become more urgent and more ambitious. We want to work with all stakeholders in the coffee chain and, together, find permanent solutions to the systemic social, economic and environmental challenges that continue to exist in our sector.
Despite efforts made to date, far too many smallholder famers continue to live in poverty. Without profitable work that pays a living wage, these farmers cannot meet even their most basic needs for food, healthcare and the education of their children. This is preventing them and their communities from thriving. We want to find new ways to provide farmers with a stable and consistent living income.
In addition, coffee cultivation is already hugely affected by the devastating impact of climate change. This influences coffee in terms of quality, yield and pests, and affects the water supply to the crop.
At Volcafe, we want to tackle these challenges. We have been working to improve sustainable profitability for coffee farmers for years. And we are proud of that work. But the deadline to establish regenerative practices is getting even closer. Now, we have developed a more ambitious overarching sustainability strategy built on our vision for a thriving, sustainable coffee business for all.
We have developed a ‘sustainability strategy framework’ showing how our three key areas or pillars reflect both the drivers and enablers of our sustainability work at Volcafe. The framework also shows the material areas where we will make a difference and also how we will contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Our holistic approach will focus our work on the three areas where we can make the biggest positive impact:
To realize a living income for farmers, we will focus on sustainable profitability.
With our range, presence and experience, we are well positioned to address the complex issues that prohibit farmers from thriving.
We will continue the long-established work we’ve been doing with producers, providing business and agronomy advice to improve farm practices, deliver consistent quality and make careful use of natural resources.
We will use our influence to raise awareness and understanding of the complex issues around coffee prices and fair income for farmers and the need for industry-wide solutions.
We will promote regenerative practices that address the impact of climate change on coffee cultivation.
We are already working with partners to increase our understanding and to mitigate climate-change risks in key coffee regions, including the effects of temperature fluctuations, flooding, droughts and frosts.
We want to do more and go further to find root-cause solutions to environmental issues that we can deliver in coffee origins to protect livelihoods and markets.
We will work with producers to build thriving coffee communities based on responsible citizenship.
With long-term presence at origin, we bring insight and experience to complex and sensitive areas of coffee farming such as education and gender, for example. This expertise underpins our work in this area. We will buy and trade coffee from sustainable sources.
We will work with suppliers to ensure operations and practices meet international standards for employment and equality, and where younger generations are motivated to carry on the family business, securing both long-term livelihoods and the future supply of coffee.
For more information about our sustainability projects – follow us on LinkedIn here
Our farmer support programme is called ‘The Volcafe Way’.
Drawing on the expertise of our field teams, it pools their collective knowledge within a farmer support organisation that provides direct technical assistance to farmers, helping them to improve their coffee quality, farm productivity and yields.
Our farmer support teams help producers to manage risks, improve outcomes, gather data and focus on measurable results that our customers can monitor and verify. One of our flagship training methods is creating business model farms, which provide local learning hubs where surrounding communities can exchange best practices so that they all learn and benefit — whether they work directly with us or not.
Email us through our contact form.
Managing director – coffee