Our philosophy at BOCCA is innovation over compensation.
We are developing strategies to actively reduce and compensate for our companies carbon footprint. With limited instruments available for tackling climate issues in the coffee industry, many companies are now turning to carbon offsetting, removing Co2 to compensate for their emissions elsewhere. But we want to focus on carbon insetting, to generate a positive impact within our own value chain and preserve the fantastic forest lands home to our coffee.
As the climate crisis continues, it is more essential than ever before to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Offsetting means companies can reduce their carbon footprint, counteracting emissions by removing Co2 from the atmosphere elsewhere. This allows coffee companies to “compensate” for their emissions, purchasing carbon credits to offset outside of their value chain.
However, offsetting alone is not enough. We believe that it is essential to reduce our emissions internally. Insetting means finding innovative methods to reduce emissions within our own value chain. Offering a genuinely sustainable solution, and the true way forwards.
Working alongside Carble, we are investigating how we can reduce our carbon footprint and smallholder poverty in a single investment. Developing a system for rewarding coffee farmers for protecting the carbon stored in their agroforestry farms. Offering a financial incentives to encourage farmers to keep coffee forests in-tact to maintain and expand ecosystem co-benefits.
Keep posted to read more about our insetting project soon!
Coffee prices just reached a decade-long high. Climate change is creating more extreme weather events, making coffee production unpredictable. Last year, severe frost damage in Brazil affected half a million acres of coffee crops. Also, hit previously by severe drought, last year was a disappointing harvest for the world’s largest global coffee producer.
Maybe in the short term. However, this sudden price increase creates uncertainty in the market. An increase in price encourages more farmers to plant coffee, which can lead to an oversupply. With our 20+ years of experience in coffee, we have seen this price cycle before with prices falling back to unsustainable levels once again.
Unstable market dynamics create challenges for our farmers working in coffee origins and affect the availability of coffee here, in The Netherlands. We focus on continuing to provide high quality coffee and paying our farmers the highest market prices (49% above Fairtrade minimum in 2021).
Frequent exposure to smoke is one of the biggest killers, caused by the combustion of fuels and open fires indoors. Around the globe, almost 3 billion people do not have adequate access to energy. This constrains many families to cooking on an open fire and having to use kerosene and candles for lighting. We found an innovative solution, helping to improve the lives of our coffee farmers living in rural Kenya.
The ACE One stove is an energy system which symbiotically integrates thermal and electric energy, providing access to electricity and power suitable for truly clean biomass combustion. The latest model includes an integrated port for charging electronic devices (such as mobile phones).
With the help of the ACE One Solar, rural communities reliant on indoor stoves are able to minimise household smoke emissions, reduce their fuel needs and gain direct access to solar energy. Funding provided by our company, staff, and some customers has helped farming communities that we work alongside, in Kenya.
BOCCA places a huge emphasis on ensuring the well-being of all individuals involved in each and every bag of coffee we produce. By sending these stoves we aim to help circumvent the negative effects of household air pollution. Reducing household air pollution has a direct positive effect on individuals’ health, the environment and household income. Which are just a handful of ways that these stoves can improve the lives of families living in the champagne region of coffee.
BOCCA x True Price
The beans used for each cup of coffee, have taken their own unique expedition to make their way into your cup. Unfortunately, this journey often has a negative societal and environmental cost. Co2 emissions, water soil and energy use, child labor and farmer wage exploitation are just a handful of issues, which are not reflected in the final price of a cup of coffee. At BOCCA we support innovative strategies, to develop a more transparent supply chain, fronting the movement towards a more sustainable and fair coffee industry.
Working closely in cooperation with BOCCA coffee, social entrepreneur Ariane van Mancius, is set to open the world’s first true price cafe, Het Koffiehuis in Breukelen. The mission of developing a cafe with full price transparency is now a concrete reality. A space where customers pay the ‘actual’ cost, providing opportunity for customers to pay (otherwise) hidden costs. This additional price premium will support NGOs and charities in remediating the societal costs associated with consumer behavior.
“I’m tired of empty words and fake claims. Everybody claims to be paying a ‘good’ or ‘fair’ price and buying ‘directly’ from the farmer.
Over the past 20 years, there has been a rise of awareness, specialism, and knowledge. I hope to see this trend continue, with a higher emphasis placed on quality, transparency, and sustainability!”
The aim of a true price system is to eventually reduce hidden costs to the point where end consumers no long need to pay a premium on sustainable products. We can’t wait for what’s in store for the future – a more transparent coffee industry!
We want to share with our customers a taste of something extremely important to us. As a B Corp company, we strive to have a positive Impact on the lives of every single individual Involved in the bean-to-cup journey. By buying our coffee, you support children in coffee farming communities of Ethiopia. We donate proceeds from our Ethiopia coffee, to fund the development of schools in the Guji zone of Ethiopia.
For young Individuals living in rural coffee farming communities, education opportunities are often limited. Children are required to work on the farm and public transport options in remote settings are relatively expensive, which create barriers to schooling.
Sudden losses in income force coffee farmers to take their children out of school. As a result, turbulent coffee prices and low wages have implications for children living in coffee farming communities.
Alongside our long-lasting commitment (now for 20 years!) to coffee farmers in the Guji region of Ethiopia, we believe that having good school facilities, is an essential step to providing local children the education that they deserve.
The school project was established by Tesfaye Bedele, owner of Suke Quto farm, and Menno Simons, founding owner of BOCCA. Working closely together, and with the help of everybody buying our coffee, the Suke Quto school project has been a success.
Funding has been used to build various facilities in the near-by Kurume school, including a new department with a library, a toilet, and a new gate. Our quest continues, with the redevelopment of a school in Suke Quto village. Providing infrastructure to allow children to continue their studies beyond 8th grade, facilitating opportunities for young people in the surrounding area.
At our coffee shop and in the roastery we develop innovative ways to reuse old materials, to ensure that we have a positive impact on our natural environment.
To make sure that our bags are reused, we send them off to a nearby tree nursery. The bags are wrapped around the roots of trees to support them in their growth and provide our planet with the glorious oxygen that it deserves.
At our roastery, helping to save our environment is a real TREE-t!
As you can probably imagine, we have a lot of left-over coffee … bucket-loads in fact! We collect all our left-over grounds, which are then used in all sorts of wonderful ways.
Whether it’s used for compost or at an Amsterdam-based liqueur company, you can be sure that all our coffee is re-used. Which is very important to us because our beans take a very long journey to get here.
Oh.. and our baristas love to take our leftover coffee home. They say that it works as the best exfoliating facemask!
Lose the snooze! This recipe will make you hop out of your bed excited for breakfast.
Tip: this bagel tastes best next to filter coffee! Pair your bagel with our Gusto, Ethiopia or Kenya for a breakfast party.
Tip: this croissant tastes best next to a cappuccino! Pair your (non-dairy) milk up with our Bombita, Soulmate or Easy Rider for a breakfast party.
In celebration of our 20 year anniversary, we’re proud to present our Anniversary Blend and a brand new look!
To mark this milestone, we created the ‘Back To The Future Blend:’ a filter coffee derived from the very best (filter) origins we know. Filter coffee is where it all began. Redubbed as slow coffee, this inherent brewing method is back. With this very special blend, we mark our vision for the future because we believe filter coffee is here to stay!
Destined to drink as a filter, it’s a bright, confident coffee that graces our palates with sparkling notes of tropical fruit and florals.
The secret behind this blend?
A beautiful marriage of old-meets-new. You’ll taste 20 years of partnership with our day-one farmers Tesfaye and Haile from Ethiopia & a hint of our newest partner coming from the coffee champagne region: Nyeri, Kenya.
– Menno Simons, Founder
Culture. Coffee. Connection. And Her. These are the layers of our iconic trademark. Accounting for up to 75% of the labor in origin alone, we believe in giving credit where it’s due. Women have always been the beating heart of the coffee industry. Therefore it only feels right to honor the force behind an integral part of our daily routine, our ritual, if you like. Hugged by the fruit of her labor, the coffee bean, she still remains front and center as our logo after 20 years.
What kind of explorer are you?
Taking it easy staying with the familiar – nothing too adventurous
This GREEN packaging represents our most approachable coffees. If you try Bocca for the first time and love chocolate flavoured coffee.
Ready to try new things, looking for a bold and adventurous journey
This RED packaging represents our more challenging coffees. Fresh and fruity. Adventurers are familiar with specialty coffee.
What a ride!
How a passion for a product can turn into a vibrant business with a talented team of people. The development of a successful company, transitioning through different phases.
The BOCCA brand has continued to produce specialty coffee with a social mission at its core. We maintain happy clients who also run fantastic businesses with our products.
What has been the main motivation in your work?
My passion for quality was the initial spark which drove me to start working in the coffee business. I still remember the first-time roasting coffee in a pan, the intense smells and flavours! It’s truly amazing how complex a natural product can become – simply by roasting it.
After visiting coffee regions, I quickly understood that a lot of improvements could be made across the entire coffee-chain. The drive to build and create something different, something better, was the start of BOCCA.
What do you think we’d be most surprised to find out about you (related to your work in the past 20 years)?
I actually start my day with a cup of tea! Each morning, I have a cup of English breakfast tea to get my day off to a good start. I move on next to a cup of coffee, but hey, nothing like a cup of tea to start your day. Also, I love to eat raw meat. Especially along the road in Ethiopia, some say that it’s Russian roulette!
What is the one thing you hate most about your industry? What is driving you nuts?
Empty words and fake claims. Everybody is paying a “good” or “fair” price and buying “directly” from the farmer.
So, why make these claims?
Roasters want to say the money consumers pay for their coffee is shared fairly. 99% of roasters do not buy directly from farmers. I don’t think they should, as this is really another profession. But these claims should require proof.
What is the one thing at BOCCA that cannot be copied?
20 years of being hands-on and active in the field. This provides us with so much experience and knowledge. I want our knowledge to be used in a smart way, to understand inevitable changes in the market and embrace exciting new opportunities.
How do you see the future? What is in store for Bocca in the next 20 years?
Over the past 20 years, there has been a rise of awareness, specialism, and knowledge. I hope to see this trend continue, with a higher emphasis placed on quality, transparency, and sustainability!
Talking of quality, I expect to see a full resurgence of slow coffee/filter brewing methods. Filter brew is the best way to truly taste and enjoy the full flavor profile of coffee. Personally, I love filter coffee.
We really want our consumers to rediscover this amazing brewing method. You don’t even need expensive equipment, although, I advise everyone to invest money on a good grinder.
It allows you to experience subtle differences between varieties, subregions, processing methods and roasting style. This is why we decided to launch our very special 20th-year anniversary coffee, developed specifically for filter brewing methods.
And what do you think is in store for the wider coffee industry?
The coffee industry is still predominantly driven by convenience and price. I think consumers will be willing to pay more if they know margins are divided in a fair and equal way. At Bocca, we continue to see more partnerships, people and companies with a similar mindset joining forces to support each other (such as the B Corp community). Also, brand new packaging, more fantastic coffees, and a fresh new look to our website!