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Farmer Named Brazil Secretary of Production and Commercialization

Brazil - The inauguration recently of Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva as President of Brazil involved administration changes in all government ministries and agencies.

Roberto Rodrigues, former president of the International Cooperative Alliance and presently president of ABAG, the Brazilian Agribusiness Association, was appointed the Minister of Agriculture. Coffee policy and affairs are administered by the Secretary of Production and Commercialization of the Agriculture Ministry. Roberto Rodrigues desigated to this important position Linneu Carlos da Costa Lima, a coffee farmer and formerly vice president of the Brazilian Rural Society and president of the Coffee Growers Cooperative of Mococa in the Mogiana region of the State of Sao Paulo.

Lineu’s farm is a traditional family holding dating back to the 1880s with plantings in normal times of over a million trees.

Linneu is also following family tradition in government service as his father, now deceased, Renato Costa Lima, was during previous administrations, Minister of Agricultrre and President of the IBC, Brazilian Coffee Institute.

Linneu is well known in Brazilian Coffee circles and has always been active in movements to improve marketing conditions for growers and social conditions for their workers.

In his first interview, Linneu emphasized he was against the re-introduction of export taxes or quotas on exports as proposed by some sectors of the trade.

It is believed his experience with the problems of coffee growing and marketing and services in the Rural Society and Cooperatives will be a great advantage in finding solutions to Brazilian Agriculture problems and his responsibilities as Secretary of Production and Commercialization.
- Harry C. Jones

NCA and Green Coffee Association Discuss Merger
United States - The boards of directors of the NCA and of the Green Coffee Association (GCA) have recently been discussing merging their operations, according to www.ncausa.org.

The purpose of the merger would be to strengthen the U.S. coffee industry’s voice and to enhance member services and value for the current members of both associations.

According to NCA president and c.e.o. Robert F. Nelson, the terms of the merger that the two boards have provisionally agreed to are designed to protect the current functions of the GCA and allow for an expansion of programs and projects that focus on the green coffee trade, while benefiting current NCA members as well as members of GCA by conserving industry resources and unifying the industry into one stronger common voice.

Specifically, the current GCA role in developing commercial usage standards, providing conflict resolution through quality arbitrations, disseminating trade information and publishing warehouse statistics, are all preserved under the merger terms, as are existing GCA social functions.

Under the merger plan, Nelson said, the assets of NCA and GCA will be merged, under formulas agreed to by the two Associations to preserve the equities of their respective current members. Additional and more detailed news about the proposed merger plans will be sent to members of NCA in coming weeks, Nelson said, with similar arrangements to be carried out by the leadership of GCA for its members.

SCAE Conducts Brazil Field Trip
England - The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) will be holding a Field Trip to Brazil, which will take place from June 23 - 29, 2003. The Trip Coordinator will be Patrick Bewley, SCAE’s new executive director.

“We are greatly indebted to the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association for their generous assistance with the planning of the visit,” says Betty Attwood, SCAE Secretariat.

The itinerary includes a Welcome Seminar, in which Marcelo Viera will talk about the Brazilian coffee program and about BSCA, and representatives from Sindicafe will talk about instant coffee. Visits to Espirito Santo coffee regions, the Cerrado region in Minas Gerais and Daterra Farms, EXPOCACCER (a large cooperative in Cerrado region), Sul de Minas, and a possible extention to Rio and or Bahia and Salvador for an extra fee.

The trip includes most meals, hotels and flights within the country. Participants are responsible for their own international travel arrangements to and from Brazil. Only 25 spots are available, and will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to roasters and traders. To apply, contact Betty Attwood, SCAE secretary, immediately at: Tel: (44) (0) 1306 743 524, Fax: (44) (0) 1306 743 527, E-mail: scae@btinternet.com For more information contact Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (SCAE) at Tel: (55) (35) 3292-1880, Fax: (55) (35) 3291-9077, E-mail: edgard@bsca.com.br, Web site: www.bsca.com.br.

Colombia Settles Certification Mark Infringement Claim
United States - The Republic of Colombia through the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia reached an agreement with Rione International Corporation of Brooklyn, New York, regarding Rione's infringement of the Republic's federally registered United States certification mark “Colombian” for coffee.

The Republic asserted that Rione violated several different provisions of the Lanham Act, the federal trademark statute, by marketing, selling and distributing certain coffees

mislabeled as “Colombian,” but which did not meet the standard for certification under the mark. As part of the settlement, Rione agreed to take necessary steps to conform to the standards of the certification mark and paid the Republic of Colombia’s legal costs relating to the matter.

The Federation noted that Rione's prompt acknowledgement of the Republic’s rights and willingness to take steps necessary to protect consumers in the future enabled the parties to resolve the matter quickly and amicably.

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is a non-profit democratic organization founded in 1927, and represents Colombia’s 500,000 coffee growers.

For more information about the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, visit www.juanvaldez.com.

Tea & Coffee - February/March, 2003

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