Volkart Brothers

Salomon & Johann Georg Volkart

VOLCAFE’s roots go back to 1851 when two brothers, Salomon and Johann Georg Volkart, founded their company Volkart Brothers in Winterthur, Switzerland. Volkart Brothers engaged in trade between the brothers’ native country Switzerland and the Indian Subcontinent.

Out of this family enterprise grew a large family trading corporation dealing in coffee, cotton, and industrial goods.

In 1875, the company opened a branch office in Tellicherry in southern India. 1857 marked the Volkart Brothers first coffee venture in India. However, it was not until after WWII that coffee became an important activity of the head office in Switzerland.

By 1950, Volkart’s coffee trading activity mainly covered the Western Hemisphere with coffees from Latin America. By then, they had also established export companies in Brazil, Guatemala and Costa Rica. Later on, the group established operations in Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Tanzania.

In 1989, the ERB Group, a Swiss corporation from the same town of Winterthur, acquired the entire Volkart coffee operation including all of the companies at origin. ERB renamed Volkart Brothers to VOLCAFE Limited.

In 2001, VOLCAFE Specialty Coffee was formed to promote specialty coffee offerings in the United States.

In 2004, ED&F Man, a British Trading House specializing in Sugar, Cocoa, Molasses and Ethanol, acquired the majority shares from the ERB Group and merged their existing coffee operations into VOLCAFE Ltd.

VOLCAFE Specialty Coffee continues in the same tradition of a service-oriented, well-managed worldwide coffee corporation.

Visit ED&F Man Website