AFRICAN BEANS IN DANISH COFFEE
East African coffee beans are among the best in the world, and now they will end in the famous Danish coffee brand Cirkel Kaffe through a new local roasting facility, established by the supermarket chain Coop and IFU.
For several years, Coop has made a targeted effort to introduce products from developing countries to the Danish consumers through the concept Savannah. Now the selection will be expanded with East African coffee directly from Coop’s own roasting facility, established in Kenya, which will supply Coop’s 1,200 supermarkets through the famous Danish coffee brand Cirkel Kaffe.
Products in the Savannah line must fulfil three criteria:
- They must come from Africa, Asia or Latin America
- The manufacturer must benefit commercially from working with Coop
- There must be a direct relation to and cooperation to develop the manufacturer’s business
This is also the strategy behind the roasting facility African Coffee Roasters. Coop buys directly from the individual coffee farmers, avoiding costly middlemen buying up coffee and selling it at a profit. Thereby the coffee farmers, who are organised in cooperatives, obtain a better price on their coffee as well as faster payment. At the same time, Danish consumers will get quality coffee that leaves a good taste in the mouth in several ways.
“Africa has great opportunities, and Coop wishes to enter into partnerships that will benefit both African manufacturers and our customers”
Lasse Bolander, Chairman of Coop
The original plan was that African Coffee Roasters would be co-owned by Coop and the coffee cooperatives that supply the beans. However, due to disagreements with the local authorities on the location of the roasting facility, the company could not obtain the necessary permits. Thus the co-ownership had to be dropped, and the roasting facility is now owned by Coop and IFU. The two owners are still interested in including the coffee cooperatives as co-owners, and even though they are not owners yet, they will still receive dividends once the roasting facility makes a profit.
Production has started
African Coffee Roasters uses state-of-the-art technology and is thus a modern roasting facility where the East African coffee is roasted, ground and packed in locally produced coffee containers. The total production capacity is 2,000 tons, which is three to four times larger than the 400-600 tons of coffee to be delivered to Coop. Hence, the business must be developed further in the years to come to fully utilize the capacity.
Currently, there are 35 employees in the company, and the first containers of East African Cirkel Kaffe have been shipped to Denmark.