Corporate Social Responsibility is very important to us in terms of certified products and also as a 360° business approach to all the stakeholders along the whole supply chain: from suppliers to customers, to employees, our involvement with the local community and respect for the environment. Please see our News section for more.
Coffee Sourcing Policy
We buy our green coffee from suppliers that source coffee from plantations all around the world, and over many years have developed trusted relationships with farmers and co-operatives. The emergence of single Estate coffees from new origins in Asia, Africa and the Americas means we are always discovering fresh and exciting flavours. Samples of new, in season coffee beans are regularly brought in for evaluation. Coffee is a seasonal crop, different producing countries pick and process coffee at different times throughout the year.
Before we buy any green coffee, it must first undergo a number of checks:
· Moisture meter – It is important to check the coffee has the correct percentage moisture to ensure the coffee is not musty or mouldy.
· Screen size - a sample is checked to ensure that the correct grade of bean size is present.
· Appearance – a weighed sample is tipped onto the table and each bean is systematically checked for defects: colour, insect holes, maturity, foreign bodies such as stones and wood, as well as colour are assessed. The defects are tallied and checked against our specified allowance.
· Sample roasting - The beans are lightly roasted to a medium brown, which allows the assessor to identify any imperfections during cupping.
· Cupping - The final assessment, the character of the coffee is judged in terms of fragrance/ aroma, flavour, aftertaste, acidity / sweetness, body and balance. Cupping allows us to compare and contrast coffees against previous samples.
Ethical Coffee – We Are Fair Trade Certified Coffee Roasters
We were early adopters of Fairtrade, becoming Fairtade licensees in 1998, one of the most widely recognised and trusted certification marks in the UK. It is also the only certification that tackles all the elements that farmers need to make their lives sustainable in the long term; these include being financially stable, protecting the environment and supporting the community. We roast a range of fine Fairtrade coffees from countries such Colombia, Brazil and Honduras.
The Fairtrade mark is a consumer label which appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal. For a product to display the Fairtrade logo it must meet international Fairtrade standards. These standards are set by the international certification body. Fairtrade licensed companies are inspected and audited by the foundation to ensure compliance with all aspects of the Fairtrade rules and ethos.
Tea Sourcing Policy
Brodies have been importing and blending quality tea since 1867 and became members of the UK tea council, now the UK Tea & Infusions council in 1979. All teas are assessed and tasted before purchase. All new seasons’ shipment teas are bought on the basis of production samples, landed samples and delivered samples.
The tea is evaluated on the basis of:
· Appearance – We visually inspect the dry tea sample for leaf quality and size, colour and any stalk or fibre.
· Nose – The dry and infused leaf is nosed to identify its characteristics.
· Colour - The infused leaf and tea liquor are inspected in the tasting bowl.
· Taste - We look for typical regional characteristics to assess the quality from the noted growing areas such as Assam, Sri Lanka, China and East Africa
· Mouth feel – For example, how uplifting and refreshing or how astringent and rich the liquor is in the mouth.
Once we have blended the tea this whole process starts again.
Our tea suppliers adhere to International & National Laws and source the tea ethically. Every year we consult our suppliers and query them about their processes and procedures.
Our suppliers require, among others that their suppliers comply with local legislation regulating employment and working conditions, operate an equal opportunities policy, products are manufactured in a safe, hygienic working environment, sound environmental practices and are dedicated to making continuous efforts to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment.
Brodies are committed to minimising waste and increasing energy efficiency wherever possible.
All tea and coffee products are made from natural sources with the minimum processing to ensure the quality of the product. Brodies will only accept premium grade tea and coffee from reputable estates.
Brodies products do not contain any protein or DNA derived from a genetically modified source. Suppliers of food ingredients to Brodies must complete an extensive Supplier Questionnaire as part of our evaluation process.
Energy efficiency is a priority when purchasing new machinery and equipment and machinery is maintained regularly to increase efficiency. Our coffee roaster has an after burner and catalyser that reduces emissions during the roasting process.
Packaging requirements are frequently reviewed to minimise cost and energy requirements. Environmental concerns are considered when new packaging is sourced. Cardboard packaging is reused wherever possible and recycled packaging material is used where appropriate.
Brodies will only accept timber and timber products from sustainable and well-managed sources. ‘Timber products’ means all timber-inclusive or timber-derived products including fibreboard, wood pulp, paper, cellulose, charcoal etc.
Suppliers must produce and maintain evidence to illustrate the original composition of the material, the percentage recycled and the sources.
· Waste is kept to a minimum by reusing paper and cardboard wherever practicable. All waste cardboard and paper are recycled.
· Brodies manufacturing processes use little water. Waste water is of a household standard and is disposed of via local authority drainage.
· Coffee roaster emissions are catalysed and comply with air quality legislation.
Brodies comply with all current UK and EU environmental legislation. We also adhere to SALSA (small and local supplier approval) who regularly conducts independent inspections.