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Land use change in coffee producing countries

Land use change in coffee producing countries

Around the globe, land use is changing at an alarming rate and coffee producing regions are no exception. Industrial coffee farming is a big contributor to global warming. Deforestation and forest degradation, is the cause for around 45% of the carbon footprint of a bag of coffee. Overall, land use change accounts for 12-29% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

Coffee production is changing in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, coffee is grown by small-scale farmers under the shade of forest canopy, without chemical fertilisers. Coffee forests are an excellent store of carbon, holding up to 94% of the carbon stored in natural forests.

As agriculture constitutes a primary form of livelihood in rural Ethiopia, farmers are turning their backs on coffee moving towards other more lucrative crops. Working alongside Carble, we are investigating how we can financially reward coffee farmers for maintaining the forest canopy. Reducing our carbon footprint and smallholder poverty in a single investment.

Land use and land cover in Yirgracheffe in 1988 (a), 2003 (b) and 2018 (c). Source: Adane (2020).

Innovation over compensation

Carbon Insetting

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. 

What is the difference between offsetting and insetting?

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.

How are we working on this?

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!

What is happening to coffee prices?

What is happening to coffee prices?

In March, we will be increasing the price of our coffee. As a valued customer, we thought we should take the time to explain what is happening in the global coffee market, and why it is affecting the cost of our coffee.

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. 

Are price increases good for farmers?

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).

Damaged coffee crops in Brazil - affected by severe frost.
Source: International Coffee Organization (ICO)

Kenya Stove Project

The ACE One Solar has landed!

Kenya Stove Project

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.

ACE One Solar: providing clean combustible energy whilst charging a mobile phone.

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.

How much does your cup of coffee cost?

How much does your cup of coffee cost?

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.

Fair and transparent pricing is extremely important to us here at BOCCA. Discussing the future of the coffee industry, BOCCA founder Menno Simons, explains:

“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!

Suke Quto School Project

Suke Quto School Project

How can you support children living in coffee communities?

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.

Improving education in coffee farming communities.

For farmers in rural settings of Ethiopia, coffee constitutes a major source of livelihood. 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 Suke Quto School Project Continues!

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.

Read more about the link between coffee prices and education here:

20 Years of Bocca

Celebrating 20 Years Of Coffee, Culture, and People

In celebration of our 20 year anniversary, we’re proud to present our Anniversary Blend and a brand new look!

Back To The Future

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.

“We love nothing more than sharing our extraordinary coffee with people who are as mad for the bean as we are. We cordially invite you to raise a cup to a birthday celebration as beautiful as our latest blend. Enjoy!” 

– Menno Simons,  Founder

Giving Credit Where It's Due.

A modernized logo.

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.

Layered Bags

Our new packaging features a mountainous design, evoking adventure in every sense of the word. Symbolic for the many layers of our B-Corp company, we challenge you to peel them back and discover more about your coffee.

For the Discoverer

This GREEN packaging represents our most approachable coffees. If you try Bocca for the 1rst time and love  chocolate flavored coffee. 

For the Adventurer

This RED packaging represents our more challenging coffees. Fresh and fruity. Adventurers are familiar with specialty coffee. 

For the Pioneer

Our GOLDEN packaging represents coffees with out-of-the-ordinary flavors. Often limited available. Pioneers are proud coffee geeks. 

Bagel with Chorizo & Scrambled Egg

Bagel with Coffee Chorizo & Scrambled Egg

Lose the snooze! This recipe will make you hop out of your bed excited for breakfast.

Ingredients (4 pers.)
  • 1 BOCCA x Brandt & Levie chorizo
  • 2 bagels 
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g butter 
  • 1/2 avocado (sliced)
  • 1 tomato (sliced)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Preparation
  1. Cut the bagels in half and toast them in the toaster or briefly fry them in a frying pan
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well
  3. Cut the sausage into thin slices and remove the skin
  4. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the beaten eggs
  5. Stir with a spatula until nicely cooked and fluffy
  6. Top the bagels with the avocado, tomato and scrambled eggs
  7. Add slices of sausage
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a bit of olive oil

Tip: this bagel tastes best next to filter coffee! Pair your bagel with our Gusto, Ethiopia or Kenya for a breakfast party.

Croissant with Coffee Chorizo & Ricotta

Croissant with Coffee Chorizo & Ricotta

Lose the snooze! This recipe will make you hop out of your bed excited for breakfast.

Ingredients (4 pers.)
  • 1 BOCCA x Brandt & Levie chorizo
  • 50g pistachios
  • 100g sugar
  • 4 croissants
  • 250g ricotta
  • Olive oil
Preparation
  1. Clean the pistachios and put them aside
  2. Mix the sugar with a bit of water and melt in a pan until brown 
  3. Pour the caramel over the pistachios and put aside for 15 min until hardened
  4. Cut up the pistachio caramel 
  5. Slice the coffee chorizo very thinly
  6. Cut the croissants open and spread with ricotta 
  7. Drip a bit of olive oil over the ricotta and salt & pepper to your liking 
  8. Sprinkle the caramel on top of the ricotta
  9. Put the slices of coffee chorizo on top 

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.

Our Coffee Chorizo is here!

A chorizo for coffee lovers!

Their curiosity and passion for developing high-quality products gave Samuel Levie of Brandt & Levie and our founder, Menno Simons, the idea to develop chorizo with coffee.

The chorizo matches the popular Espresso Martini in the evening ànd the coffee moment in the morning. The coffee gives a surprisingly fresh-fruity counterbalance to the sharp notes of the ground aleppo and sansho peppers of the sausage. A true taste adventure for coffee and sausage lovers!

After a process of several months, which involved testing different coffees, roastings and grinds, the South Ethiopian component of BOCCA’s Gusto was the perfect match. 

Bring the chorizo to your breakfast table!

Chef Samuel Levie has created 2 accessible recipes to elevate your morning coffee

Croissant with Ricotta & Chorizo
Bagel with Chorizo & Egg