Houston-based Maximus Coffee Group, a subsidiary of the world’s second largest coffee trader Ecom Agroindustrial Corp., has been rebranded as Atlantic Coffee Solutions. As part of the company’s new direction, Ecom has appointed Jorge Esteve as president and co-CEO, who will work alongside existing co-CEO David Martinez.
The Atlantic Coffee Solutions industrial campus is one of the largest soluble coffee operations in the United States, and it also contains the world’s largest chemical-free decaffeination plant. Ecom describes the existing ACS facility as the “only integrated coffee production facility with decaffeination, soluble processing, roasting and packaging all at a single location,” and the company’s new tagline is “naturally made in the USA by Ecom.”
“One of our business goals is to constantly improve the supply chain all the way from farm to cup,” Ecom CEO Andrew Halle said in a company announcement yesterday. “The Houston plant has immense processing potential and it further integrates our sustainable supply chain model in coffee.”
Atlantic Coffee Solutions’ East Houston plant was formerly owned by Kraft Foods Inc., and under the Maximus name since 2006, the company has processing, roasting and/or packaging solutions for some of North America’s largest coffee brands, including Starbucks, Folgers, Maxwell House and Nestle. The Ecom subsidiary most recently made headlines last year when some 250 organized employees — approximately 90 percent of its workforce — went on strike, alleging wage reductions by as much as 50 percent, along with dramatic reductions in benefits. The strike, including daily picket lines, lasted nearly a month before the employees and their union representative, UFCW, came to an agreement.
With headquarters in Switzerland, Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. remains the world’s second largest trader of commodity coffee, with coffee-related subsidiaries on six continents, while its other primary interests are in the cocoa and cotton trades. The company’s additional U.S. subsidiaries include its green specialty coffee wing, Hayward, Calif.-based Atlantic Specialty Coffee.