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Ecotone opens €10m organic tea and coffee factory

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Ecotone has opened 'Europe's largest' organic tean and coffee plant. Image: Ecotone
Ecotone has opened 'Europe's largest' organic tean and coffee plant. Image: Ecotone

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Clipper Tea and Whole Earth owner Ecotone has opened a €10m organic coffee and tea factory, claimed to be the largest of its kind in Europe.

Built with financial support from the European Union and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), La Caféière will manufacture 180 different products, with 100 tonnes of organic tea produced and 5.5 million units of coffee sold annually.

The creation of the 9,500m2​ facility ­– including 8,000m2​ dedicated entirely to the coffee factory – also supported 60 new roles at the business, including three roasters and an R&D team to facilitate the production of various vintage coffees.

Sustainability goals

Ecotone’s investment in the new factory formed part of the tea and coffee maker’s wider sustainability goals and operates a 0% landfill, 100% circularity policy – 85% of total leftover materials are recycled or reused in compost and 15% are incinerated with energy recovery.

The factory has been installed with a roasting smoke burner which reportedly cuts C02 emissions by 30% compared with traditional methods. This is further supported through the acquisition of green energy, wetland water management, 100% LED lighting and photovoltaic roof panels enable a more global approach to energy efficiency at the plant.

More than 60% of La Caféière's sales will now be through Fairtrade certified products, with Ecotone aiming to achieve over 70% Fair Trade coffee and tea within two years. The Destination, Naturela, Clipper, Bonneterre, Alter Eco, and Piramide brands will be produced at La Caféière.

Organic coffee milestone

Commenting on the opening, Christophe Barnouin, chief executive of Ecotone, said: “The inauguration of La Caféière marks an important milestone in the development of organic and FairTrade coffee in France. It strengthens our production capacity with a modern, scalable plant that has an optimised environmental impact.

“It showcases our expertise and excellence as a roaster, as well as our requirements in terms of preserving biodiversity. We are now well equipped to respond to the growing consumption of organic coffee and tea, which are essential vectors for the ecological transition in the hot drinks sector.”

Meanwhile, UK potato supplier Branston has announced that it is opening a new mash potato facility at its main site in Lincoln.

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