Food & Beverage

Mar 1, 2015

From the Plant to the Cup

Delta Coffee, in the form of its founder, Manuel Rui Azinhais Nabeiro, brought the magic of coffee into the business model.

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Well versed in the coffee market and an entrepreneur by nature, Rui Nabeiro decided to create his own brand of coffee in 1961. In the Alentejo town of Campo Maior, in a small warehouse with 50 square metres of space and without many resources, activity started with just two small roasters with a capacity of 30 kg.

The relationship between Delta and its clients is just the same as the relationship between the man at the counter, and his regular customer, who have come to trust each other and to share life over the flavor and aroma of a cup of coffee.

One of the first steps Delta Coffee had to take was to conquer the confidence of the market: by winning friends who recommended the brand, it gained loyal customers, enabling sustained growth for the business. This is the management philosophy of Rui Nabeiro: A brand with a human face and commercial relations based on the principle, "Each customer is a friend". The strategy of action is to personalise the brand-client relationship, and to identify each situation as unique and individual across the spread of the businesses.

From the late 1970's the commercial structure of Delta Coffee was decisively consolidated, facing the new demands of the market with ease: developing new products and services with overall quality. It was in this context that in 1984 the commercial and industrial activities were separated. Commercial activities handled by the company, Manuel Rui Azinhais Nabeiro Ltd., while the industrial activities were carried out by Novadelta S.A., the first company certified in this sector in 1994 by the NP 29002 standards system.

Coffee and its making of

The coffee plant is a bush that can reach between 8 and 10 metres in height in the wild. However to make it easier to handle, the bush is pruned, keeping it at 2.5 to 3 metres in height.

The flowers of the coffee plant are white with five petals, and they are similar in appearance and fragrance to the jasmine and the orange tree. A bush can have 30,000 flowers that last just 3 days.

The fruit of the coffee plant has a stone fruit, which is often referred to as a cherry. Each cherry has two seeds. However sometimes when one of the two ovules of the seed aborts, the cherry presents just one seed. This is round, as it does not encounter opposition that would oblige it to develop in a different shape. In this case the coffee is called MOKKA.

Normally the fruit is harvested from the coffee plant by hand, as there are beans at different levels of maturity on the same bush, and only the red cherries (mature) should be collected. The next stage of coffee preparation is processing, and there are two different processes to separate the bean from the cherry,he wet method and the dry method.

The wet method requires greater investment and care. This method still helps to preserve the intrinsic qualities of the coffee beans, causing less waste. The main characteristic of this method is that the pulp is extracted after harvesting of the cherries, without allowing them to dry.

The dry method is a more simple and inexpensive method. After the harvest, the cherries are spread out on a surface of cement, tiles or straw mats, and preferably exposed to the sun's rays. Periodically the cherries are moved around, to prevent them from fermenting. In case of a fall in temperature or the onset of rain, they can be covered to protect them.

Roasting is, without doubt, a fundamental point for the quality of coffee, as it is what develops the main sensory attributes that are the reason it is consumed.

The appearance of roasted coffee is classified for uniformity and defects that may come out during roasting, as these defects are generally not observed in raw coffee but may appear in roasted coffee. The classification is determined on the basis of the general appearance and number of the beans that were not roasted or did not show the characteristic color of unpulped beans.

The coffee from various places is roasted individually and separately, after which the can be mixed, to form a lot or various lots. The formation of the lots is a highly important operation because the various characteristics of each coffee are brought together, such as acidity, body, the aroma among others, to obtain a good lot of coffee.

The great secret of the quality of coffee is in the composition of its blend. The mixture of beans from different coffee producer regions is combined in the exact proportion for the product to acquire and strengthen the characteristics desired by its consumers, to achieve a coffee with a striking taste and captivating aroma.

Sustainability

Delta Cafés strives to promote the training of local workers, to incentivize environmentally responsible practices, specifically the conservation of the soil, the sustained management of crop farming, the saving of water and the use of renewable energy, as a means of ensuring the quality of life of future generations is not undermined. With this in mind, several initiatives have been developed in conjunction with the producer communities.

Ever since the company was founded, Delta has based itself on solid values and human principles which are reflected in the creation of a considerate brand based on the authenticity of our relations with all our stakeholders.

The Guiding Principles of the Business were therefore developed to serve as a management tool with which compliance is vital to the development of a healthy and long-lasting relationship with the stakeholders.

The "A Coffee for Timor" campaign, aiming at the construction of infrastructure and schools for the population, was awarded the Positive Community Impact Award by Social Accountability International in 2003. The intervention in Timor was intended to train coffee producers, place value on Timor coffee, investing in and providing coffee peeling equipment and support for the reconstruction of schools with a view to fostering the sustained development of the communities.

Delta Cafés supports the execution of protocols with the tertiary sector for the sealing of partnerships and networks of Fair Trade, which guarantee the payment of a fair price to producers and support development projects in the producing communities.

With a view to promoting the marketing of fair trade coffee in Angola, Delta sealed a partnership with the NGO Equação and the joint-venture CTM-Altromercato.

The performance of Delta Cafés at the source has resulted in products from the "Selected Delta Origins" range accounting for 30% of the coffee certified by the "Rainforest Alliance". This certification ensures farmers comply with standards in relation to the conservation of nature, the main goal being the protection of the ecosystems.

The "Delta Cafés Selected Origins" range is a part of the commitments made between Delta Cafés and the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity, aimed at promoting biodiversity throughout the life cycle of coffee.

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