Beyers Koffie, Belgium’s largest coffee roaster, is ready to become the leading sustainable private-label coffee company. In fact, they were born ready. With ‘taking coffee further’ as their brand-new baseline, they perfectly sum up their 140-year-old way of working: being a one-stop shop for all things coffee, by constantly innovating and always going the extra mile to source, roast and offer amazing, sustainable coffees. Frederic Janssens, marketing & sustainability manager, spills the beans about what drives the company.
Taking coffee further since 1880
Beyers Koffie’s new baseline represents exactly what the company has been doing since it was founded back in 1880. “We’ve always been trying to take the coffee experience to the next level with value-adding developments, ranging from new taste profiles to technological advances and sustainable solutions. This is what led Beyers Koffie to where we are today, and we’ll continue to do so in the future”, explains Frederic Janssens, marketing & sustainability manager at Beyers Koffie.
After over 140 years of pushing the boundaries in private-label coffee, Beyers Koffie is now the largest coffee roaster in the country and a key player in the European private-label coffee market. Frederic: “We roast, pack and distribute over 20,000 tonnes of coffee beans per year. That’s the equivalent of 3 billion cups of coffee – all tailor-made to the wishes of our customers. Over 700 unique blends are currently being roasted to perfection!”
“We’re ‘boringly’ consistent: we’ve been doing what we’re good at for the past 140 years, while constantly adapting that approach to fit the future.” Frederic Janssens, marketing & sustainability manager at Beyers Koffie
Wide awake to innovate
With soaring customer expectations and growing demand for new packaging options, Beyers Koffie’s drive for innovation isn’t just an option; it’s a must to stay on top of the game in the retail industry. “Private labels are constantly looking for new ways to improve their product ranges”, Frederic says. “When new trends emerge, they have to follow quickly to keep up with the competition. Luckily for them, our trend-watching experts always know what’s hip and happening in the coffee scene.”
“We always strive to realise our customers’ dreams. Whatever their wishes or requirements – from taste profile, serving format, bean origin and packaging to promotional offers – we innovate together through a process of trial and error, but always with great taste and sustainability as our guiding principles.”
Beyers Koffie’s innate urge to innovate
1966 – the first Belgian company to install a vacuum-sealed coffee packaging machine
1991 – the first member of the Fairtrade labelling organisation Max Havelaar Belgium
2002 – the first to launch Senseo-compatible private label pads
2009 – the switch to 100%-renewable electricity
2014 – all roasting operations are labelled CO2-neutral
2020 – the first to introduce aluminium Nespresso-compatible private-label capsules
Fully engrained sustainability
Sustainability is engrained in every step of the Beyers Koffie value chain: from the farm through the production process and packaging right to your cup of coffee. “With far-reaching measures to work in the most energy-efficient way possible, we want to contribute to a greener world. The roastery is powered by 100%-sustainable energy, we offset our CO2 emissions entirely, recover the heat from the roasting process, produce our own nitrogen to avoid emissions, and so on.”
But the road to sustainability doesn’t end there for Beyers Koffie: the company’s ambition is to become the leading sustainable private-label coffee company. Frederic: “We tend to always take our efforts just a bit further than the competition. Our offer of sustainable solutions is the most complete on the market. But why stop there?
We’re currently building a brand-new production hall at our site in Puurs-Sint-Amands to better meet changing demands and take our sustainability efforts even further – for example, with 2,500 m² of solar panels. And I’ll give you an exclusive sneak peek: we’ll be introducing our first home-compostable private-label coffee capsules in autumn this year!”
“Our latest innovation – this is news hot off the press! – is our first home-compostable private-label coffee capsule on the market. Coming to stores this autumn.” Frederic Janssens, marketing & sustainability manager at Beyers Koffie
Traceable coffee journey
In addition to product sustainability, consumers are also increasingly paying attention to the credibility of these claims and the traceability of the supply chain. “Transparency is becoming just as important as sustainability”, Frederic confirms. “With Farmer Connect, a traceability platform based on IBM blockchain technology, coffee drinkers can trace their cup of coffee all the way back to the farmer who produced the coffee beans.
“Simply by scanning the QR code on the package, you can find out more about your coffee’s quality and origin – and even thank and support local farmers. That’s our aim: providing great coffee and always staying a step ahead in terms of innovation, technology and sustainability.”