packaged who knows where

Yesterday I was wondering why the own brand supermarket coffee from two different supermarkets had both been packaged in Belgium and wondered if they had even come from the same factory and vowed that I wouldn’t rest until I had tracked down the factory.

This was a stupid thing to vow to do as I haven’t been able to track the factory down even though I’ve been typing things into Google like a mad man. Which sort of illustrates the point. It’s just so hard to track the journey of our food from where it came from until we eat it.

One thing I discovered today was that the Belgian port of Antwerp is ‘where half the European stock of raw coffee is stored. The coffee is made available to roasting houses, traders and futures markets.

So I suppose that it would make sense to have a factory/factories that roast and package coffee for supermarkets near to Antwerp.

(Now imagine a huge gap of time when I route around the internet trying to find out a link between Tesco and the Co-Op coffee….ages and ages….a bit longer…finally…)

Eventually I put in some lucky words and found that it might be United Coffee who supply coffee to Tesco and Co-Op (and Lidl and the coffee you get in Subway and McDonalds).
Well not that it might have supplied the coffee I bought (an Italian blend) but they might have supplied an own label coffee for a Tesco at some time. This article in a local paper mentions that United Coffee roastery in Dartford supplies McD___ and Lyons but doesn’t mention any supermarkets.

I still can’t find any clues about where it might have been packed (and presumably roasted) in Belgium.
The United Coffee website says it operates in 6 European countries but Belgium isn’t one of those listed.
So unless they get some other company in Belgium to bag up the coffee which they then supply to the supermarkets, some type of secret factory that actually roasts all the coffee in the world. Or else I could have got things really wrong and someone else completely roasts the own brand coffee.Maybe these guys? Who knows?