What's the impact?
Two coffee bags in an earthquake area and the desire to make a difference led to the founding of Impact Berry.
Impact Berry was founded based on the idea to leverage capacities and multiply impact. This is why we are taking a multi layered approach to business.
Firstly, we have designed our supply chain around the idea of Creating Shared Value (CSV) to work with our partners along the way to unleash joint growth potential.
Secondly, Impact Berry pays the utmost attention on sustainability in sourcing and throughout all our operations. This means for example to only ship within asia - from source to cup - to ensure a minimum CO2 footprint.
Thirdly, Impact Berry is taking a two sided approach to social impact. On the one hand, by paying an above fairtrade price to for our coffees. On the other hand we get involved on the ground and have build strong partnerships with NGOs that Impact Berry helps fund social, education and infrastructure projects that empower the community.
Conventional coffee farming works in monoculture. Coffee trees are lined up, being isolated from their natural ecosystem, which requires the use of fertilisers and pesticides. To support biodiversity and produce organic coffees, Impact Berry coffee grows wildly in its natural habitat. Nature helps itself by falling leafs fertilising the ground and bugs being picked by their natural enemies, not by chemicals. Consuming wild coffee not only is better for human health but at the same time supports small farms and benefits the planet's wildlife.
The coffee harvest takes place once a year, stretched over several months. Depending on the coffee region, these periods vary and altogether cover the whole year. The harvest includes picking the ripe coffee cherries, which have turned into a bright red. What is interesting to know: coffee cherries on one branch can grow side by side although being in different stages of the ripening process (see picture). The harvest is the crucial part of the year for every farm as it reveals the yield of coffee and hence determines the revenue for this specific crop. Impact Berry creates shared value by promoting and supporting farms to not only focus on coffee but other fruit and products to diversify their income and not to rely solely on coffee. We coach and empower to make better use of the diversity of natural ecosystems to support farms as well as to benefit nature.
The coffee processing is one key step in the coffee value chain with several processing methods that contribute to defining coffee quality and taste profile and having a different environmental impact. Natural processing (picture) for instance, gives the coffee lots of berry, fruity notes with a slightly winy taste due to a beginning fermentation during the processing at low water consumption while washed processing puts emphasis on the flavors of the coffee seed itself at a higher water consumption. Impact Berry creates shared value by supporting coffee coaches in the sourcing regions to spread knowledge, design workshops and empower farmers to increase their cultivation- and processing techniques. This leads to higher yields, higher coffee qualities and increased income for the farms and their communities.
When coffee is shipped from its originating country to the consuming market, several means of transport can be relevant. Whereas flying the goods is fast and convenient, it also implies the biggest carbon footprint to the finished product. Shipping coffee by sea takes longer but at the same time is by far more environmentally friendly. This is a trade-off which can be solved. By consuming primarily Asian coffees, the travel times and -distances can be minimised, the transit time - even by ship - reduced to a minimum and a low footprint achieved.
Finally the roasting creates and reveals the flavors that the coffee bean carries. Roasting coffee is a very important and sensitive step as the coffee beans can easily burn or flavors be destroyed by wrong handling. For the roasting high expertise and dedication is needed in order to apply the last finish to the coffee bean before it is ready to be used. Impact Berry aims at utilising resources mindful and efficient as well as reducing idle times and material input. So do we in the step of roasting and finishing by having partnered with local specialty roasters who we roast with a great deal of care.
Impact Berry was founded based on the idea to impact and use coffee as a tool - a tool to close the gap between cultures, geographical distances and set of opportunities. Impact Berry works with local NGOs and funds and initiates projects.
What's important for us here? Firstly, that projects impact a range of people from different parts of the community. That we pick projects impacting more than less people. Secondly, that projects have an educational or environmental effect. Thirdly, that we pick projects the local communities see a need for and do not consider money wasted.
Have more questions, feedback, ideas or you'd like to get involved?