Women in Canadian Manufacturing

Café William announces opening of new manufacturing facility

February 20, 2024
By Canadian Manufacturing Avatar photo
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Women in Manufacturing

The plant is equipped with the very first 100% electric industrial roaster designed by Neuhaus Neotec. (CNW Group/Café William)

SHERBROOKE — Café William announces the opening of its new energy-efficient factory. Located in Sherbrooke, it operates a 100% electric industrial roaster. From sourcing and grain transportation to roasting and packaging, Café William is trying to deliver accessible organic and fair-trade coffee at every stage of production, all the while minimizing its ecological footprint.

Of the initial $47 million investment, $19 million is allocated towards implementing energy-efficient technologies. Rémi Tremblay, CEO of Café William, stated, “This accomplishment underscores our dedication to innovation and industry excellence. Operating Canada’s first electric industrial roaster fills us with immense pride. Earlier this year, our successful demonstration of coffee transportation via cargo sailboat showcased our commitment to sustainability. Today, we mark yet another sustainable initiative in our supply chain aimed at reducing the ecological impact of our coffee.”

Café William says they thank all the partners who made this project possible, including Investissement Québec, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), National Bank of Canada, Fondaction, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Neuhaus Neotec, Gératek and the City of Sherbrooke. The Quebec government also granted a $9 million loan under the ESSOR program to support the plant’s implementation. This program, managed by Investissement Québec as an agent of the government, aims to support investment projects carried out in Quebec to increase competitiveness and productivity, creating jobs and promoting sustainable development. On behalf of the Government of Canada, a repayable contribution of $2.5 million has also been granted by CED.

“Café William is truly an exceptional business that stands out on the world stage thanks to innovation. We are very proud to be a trusted partner to a business that, at every step, adopts measures to fight climate change and ensure the well-being of the community where it has its roots. By supporting Quebec businesses such as this one, we are protecting our environment, stimulating the local economy, and creating wealth right here at home.” – The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport and Quebec Lieutenant

The electric industrial roaster has been operational since January 2024, changing coffee bean roasting by eliminating the need for fossil fuels. With an annual roasting capacity of up to 20 million pounds of coffee, this achievement was made possible by Neuhaus Neotec, a manufacturer of coffee processing equipment.

Dre Victoria Behrmann, CEO of Neuhaus Neotec, expresses: “It’s a true honour to share this revolutionary moment in our industry with Café William. We are confident that this groundbreaking 100% Electric Coffee Roaster will have a lasting impact, setting new standards and inspiring others to strive for similar heights. We’re excited about the possibilities this achievement opens up for Café William, which has chosen to follow this path with us, and for the industry.”

As a result of the electric industrial roaster, Café William anticipates an annual reduction of approximately 800 tonnes in its CO2 equivalent emissions, which is equivalent to taking 200 fuel-powered cars off the road.