What is the difference between displaying a "roast date" or "best before" date?
Some coffee roasters display a "roast date" as opposed to "best before" date on their coffee bean packaging, and naturally they actively promote the benefits of it, versus the best before date.
At la Casa del Caffe, we use the Best Before date because it is a requirement of HACCP, our food safety program. As part of this program, we are required to keep a record log of every roast we do, so we are always able to provide the roast date information if someone needs it.
Food safety is important to us, which is why we employ the practices of a food safety program. We are a wholesale roaster/manufacturer, this means our roasting facility and operations are set up to roast and service the hospitality, and food and beverage industries. For example, we roast over a tonne of la Casa Blend every week, and the majority of this stock is delivered weekly to the cafes and restaurants we supply. Our retail and web customers get to leverage the benefits of this business model by having direct access to purchase the same fresh beans at the wholesale price.
Cafes and restaurant managers/owner generally don't require a roast date from us, in fact, some actually require the best before date because of their food safety policies. In addition, they usually order on a weekly basis so they know it's fresh, and they are also familiar with our manufacturing procedures. We do get the occasional web/retail customer wanting the roast date, in this case, we search the log database and provide the roast date and that seems to reassure them that they are going to enjoy an excellent tasting quality coffee.