IICF, 2014 unfolds many opportunities in coffee

coffee festivalBangalore – 26/1/2014:

” Life is a beautiful and endless journey in search of a perfect cup of coffee…” Organized by Coffee Board, India Coffee Trust, and IICF Secretariat, India International Coffee Festival, IICF 2014 held at Bangalore in The Hotel Lalit Ashok drew about 5000 coffee enthusiasts with 2000 business visitors and about 1000 participant delegates from India and around the Globe . This biennial event held from January 21-25,2014 was flagged off by the hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka, Shri Siddharamaiah on 21 January, 2014. The event was graced by the luminaries in the Indian and the International coffee Industry ,saw an active participation of almost all the stakeholders in the coffee value chain ecosystem. With the advancement in engineering practices, evolution in technology the way agriculture is done has undergone a sea change.

Mr Anil Kumar Bhandari, President, India Coffee Trust, and the Vice- Chairman, India International Coffee Festival, 2014 said,” The festival has time and again proven that the interest in coffee is growing and various stakeholders are contributing to make this Festival a success.” India Coffee Trust was The patron of this festival. Dr. R.K.Pachauri, Director General, TERI made an inaugural keynote address.

In the recent times thanks to the advanced research practices many consider coffee as a health and well-ness beverage aswell.Dr. V. Prakash, a distinguished scientist, CSIR India at JSS-MVP Mysore shares,” Coffee is the second largest trading commodity in the world after crude oil.About 290 liters of tea was consumed in 2012 across the globe.Coffee has become a key aspect in the commerce and the economy. Coffeenomics is all about coffee safety from the farm to the table.Consumer need to be kept in mind in doing coffee trading while Indian coffee standards need to be given a re-visit. In a quest for a healthy aging through coffee there is a need to develop a sustainable coffee through research and innovation. Vietnam , Thailand and China have picked up as a coffee growing places.There is a need to develop a Center Of Excellence in coffee.”

Apparently the Coffee growers, planters, tasters to brewers and marketers to finance institutions that back the coffee industry both locally and globally had their presence felt in this five day event that provided a perfect platform for the better understanding of the coffee industry perse to help forge insightful interactions between the Indian and International coffee businesses, policy makers and the other stakeholders. Various facets of Indian and Global Coffee supply chain were discussed.

“The changing face of coffee” showcased some of the latest technologies,innovative trends in marketing, production, manufacturing and growing of coffee both in the National and the International arena. Intense skill building workshops,informative sessions,product expo on farm mechanization, produce practices and the other relevant industry aspects were deliberated. Indian Coffee Trust that organized and funded this festival was created in 2010.The first IICF was conducted in  2002.While Global experts held sessions and workshops on evolving production, marketing channels,the conference played host to the launch of new products, services and foray of new players into the coffee industry.Sessions on coffee processing, roasting, brewing and blending were quite interesting put forth by eminent global companies like Buhler, Pinhalense,Bunn O Matic,Kaapi Machines and Marco.

Is there an opporutnity to position coffee around conversations in the country? TATA Coffee, a world class player in instant coffee says yes!Mr Harish Bhat, Chief Executive Officer, TATA Global Beverages said,” Why do people drink coffee? As a marketers and producers of coffee we need to address this question.

Coffee as an Industry throws open huge opportunities. Coffee tourism can be leveraged to create an indulgent coffee experience of our consumer.”In an effort to evangelize coffee as a new-age drink there is a need to understand the human needs and ensure coffee serves those needs through products that embrace innovative marketing, he added.The growers who firm up to enhance the quality of coffee produce are those that could fetch higher premiums for their produce.

On the alternate channels of coffee delivery Ms. Geetu Verma, Executive Director, Food and Beverages, Hindustan Unilver Limited, Mumbai shared thoughts around the macro-trends emerging in coffee. She says,” the aroma of coffee is very evocative. Though the pricing of the commodity is volatile , the HUL is the fourth largest exporter of coffee.” Consumption of coffee can be enhanced through the celebration of unique moments with family and friends, she added.

India is the 6 th largest producer and 5 th largest exporter of coffee in the World.For the fifth time in the row India coffee production has reached 3.0 Million Tones. In a distinctive analysis of the data related to the production and the consumption of coffee in the last 4 years depicts that the total consumption had exceeded the overall production of the coffee.To put it succinctly the Global coffee production in the last 12 years increased by 1.6 % per annum whereas the consumption has grown at the rate of 2.9 % per annum.

Mr. Jawaid Akhtar, Chariman, Coffee Board, and Chairperson of the International Coffee Council (2013-2014) of ICO said,” With the coffee consumption in the country rising at 5.6 % annually and the retail branded chains growing at 15 % per annum, there is a urgent need for a skilled manpower in the areas of roasting, blending,brewing and quality assessment and better irrigation practices for a good yield of coffee.The Coffee Board in association with Common wealth Agriculture Bureau International , CABI-Soutn Asia had developed a mobile application, ‘Cafe’ Movel’ launched by Commerce Secretary last August to help coffee growers secure expert advice on various aspects of coffee cultivation.

Mr Daan De Vries, Markets Director, UTZ Certified, Amsterdam shared his thoughts on ‘ Sustainable Coffee Cultivation ‘In a bid to better farming yield coffee is grown by small farmers. However Environmental responsibility should carry out the economic viability aswell, he felt.Significantly he laid emphasis on the better weed management and waste water management for a good yield of coffee.

Mr. Vikram Khurana,Kaapi Machines, a participant in IICF, 2014 said, “IICF, 2014 gives us a fantastic opportunity, sadly once in two years only. Its a great platform for us to interact with every one and share our experience and knowledge about the latest technologies. The participants have shown a lot of interest and came back with a lot of questions on how they can improvise their coffee quality.”

In an attempt to enhance the awareness of coffee and to drive the interest in production and consumption of coffee the TATA Coffee donned the role of the principal sponsor while the BRU of the Unilever was the co-sponsor of the festival. Coffee Quiz, Best Coffee expo awards, Barista Championship and IICF, 2014 coffee expo ringed in an opportunity for the coffee industry to unveil some of the amazing coffee, blends,new products and allied services. With the Nescafe as the Awards Function Sponsor and ECOM as the Coffee Quiz Sponsor the The Canara Bank who graced the event as one of the session sponsor had announced an interesting scheme for the start-up entrepreneurs in the coffee business.

Dr. Veerapa moily, Hon’ble Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Environments and Forests, Mr Roberio Oliveira Silva,Executive Director, International
Coffee Organization, ICO,UK and Shri J.S.Deepak, Additional Secretary, Plantations, Ministry of Commerce and Industry were a few of the eminent people present at this event. IICF, 2014 concluded on 25 th January, 2014.

To learn more on the event do log on to www.iicf.in .

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