IncaFé is founded on the belief that organic agriculture produces food that is tastier, contains more nutrients and is much better for the environment and the growers. It provides the growers’ communities much needed jobs and companion crops for local food supply and construction materials.
IncaFé’s coffee beans are mostly grown in forested ecosystems where companion plantings, canopy shade, and an abundance of insect and bird life all contribute to healthy plants in fertile soil, producing full-flavoured coffee beans. Obviously, organic agriculture keeps water sources clean.
Coffee is originally a shade plant and is perfect for organic agriculture. It is one of the easiest crops where organic growing with the right companion plantings can produce a higher income for the grower, better coffee for you and a better environment for all, so the question is why not organic? Especially now that it is predicted that 50% of the area used for coffee growing won’t be suitable for coffee growing by 2050 due to climate change, the solution is to go back to more shade growing. Once back at shade growing, organic production is only a relatively small step.
It is truly win-win if that is the path chosen rather than genetic manipulation which is pursued as one of the answers.
IncaFé started in 1998 when we, Carmen and Joop, met in Carmen’s Peru and Joop was shown the old coffee plantation of a family member. From that point on we started working with coffee as a way of promoting organic agriculture. We bought a small cafe in Queenstown in 2003 after emigrating to NZ in 2000. In 2006 we set up the current factory in New Plymouth.
Since 2006 we work very closely with the cooperative Coopchebi in Chanchamayo, central Peru, (www.coopchebi.com.pe). We have been instrumental in keeping the cooperative in good economic shape whilst many have wilted. With their enigmatic front man and founder Felix Marin, together with his father and family leading figures in the coffee industry in Peru, we have been concentrating on innovation and producing added value, specialty coffee that is ideally suited to manual small-scale organic growing.
Just recently we formerly established our joint venture IncaFé Peru with our main growers in Peru. IncaFé Peru owns the oldest coffee processing plant dating back to the 1870’s where the coffee industry in Peru started. Here we can concentrate on commercialisation of specialty coffees which are ideally suited for the organic and labour intense plantations in Peru.
Due to our unique direct supply chain and certified manufacturing process all our coffees are of high quality and consistency. Our unwavering focus on quality create coffees that have won numerous awards at the NZ Coffee Awards including the Supreme Award in 2013-14 and 8 awards in the 2014-15 edition in just about all categories. The NZ coffee awards have ceased since.
Apart from our involvement in innovation and creating value for the growers in Peru we support social programmes through local schools and we promote organic agriculture whenever we visit our growers. Due to the low coffee prices it has been hard in the last years to channel significant funding into this programme, but this year we are picking up some steam again by having co-funding from other green coffee buyers. We are currently part of ground-breaking project with help of Massey University to deliver high yielding disease resistant added value species in great quantities.
In the Solomon Islands we have been supporting the development of the local coffee industry and took the first export of coffee from the Islands. There are high hopes and expectations that coffee could become a serious export earner but getting the organisation and education of the farmers and the infrastructure in place to produce coffee at export quality and scale is taking longer than expected and the weather in the Solomons is not ideal for coffee growing.
IncaFé is founded on organic believes and becoming carboNZero certified well ahead of the current growing awareness of climate change was only a logical thing to do back in 2008. We measure our emissions mostly from port of loading (ie Lima and Sumatra) for over 99% of our coffee till it gets to the client. We measure our emission of all company activities in CO2equivalent per kg coffee sold.
We continuously strive to lower our emissions and to that effect we are installing a new roaster this year with significant lower gas use and haver further investments planned to reduce our footprint. We were one of the first in NZ in 2008 to introduce biodegradable cups and we have co-developed the 4evercup, a double walled stainless-steel cup for people to take to their local coffee shop or wherever to get their coffee.
It is great for cold drinks as well and to use in the café, at home or whilst camping/travelling. We are rolling out 100% compostable packaging this year even though we have felt in the past that growing crops for fuel or packaging can be actually quite damaging to the environment and food supply. However the sources of starch are becoming more diverse and less damaging and we do need to force the reduction of oil-based plastics.
With our growers in Peru we have significantly reduced water usage. We are working on getting one of the old hydropower plants working and installing a new one at our processing plant.
Currently our KPI of kgCO2e per kg coffee sold is : 0.91.
Now in addition to all this. The majority of the coffee we process is also Climate Neutral certified meaning that all emissions from farm to distribution centre of the client are offset by carbon credits purchased for emission reducing projects with coffee growers. This scheme is administered through Fairtrade.
For the land to produce best we should respect the hands that care for it. That’s why we support our farmers, visit their operations and assist with production methods. We work with our clients by providing great coffee and reliable equipment at very reasonable prices complemented with efficient service. Together we want to create a sustainable business partnership from bush to cup.
Thank you for your interest and please get in touch if you like to learn more about us,
Team IncaFé Organic Coffee
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