In 1783, James Man, a barrel maker and sugar broker, hung a shingle at 23 Harp Lane, in London. In 1802, thanks to a successful stint providing rum to the British Royal Navy, he expanded into commodities and our coffee heritage was born.
In 2004, ED&F Man (renamed in 1869, to incorporate the initials of James’ grandsons, Edward Desborough and Frederick) acquired Volcafe, a coffee business founded in 1851 by Swiss brothers Salomon and Johann Georg Volkart, becoming one of the world’s largest coffee traders.
Volcafe Specialty Coffee (VSC), a Volcafe daughter brand, was created in 2001 to promote specialty coffee in the United States. In 2014, drawing on the collective knowledge of its field teams in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Volcafe undertook a two-year research initiative into sustainably sourcing high-quality coffees. The result was Volcafe Way, our long-term investment in coffee supply chains.
And that’s where we show up! In 2016, Volcafe created Genuine Origin with the audacious idea of providing Volcafe Way–sourced coffees to roasters of every size through an online retail model, rather than a commodities model that’s changed little since 1802.
What do you get when you cross centuries of experience with a point-and-click future? Green coffee buying made simple.