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Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines

Coffee May Lower Risk of Diabetes

New research suggests that people who drink significant amounts of coffee daily have a markedly lower risk of developing diabetes, reports the Globe and Mail.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that men who drink six or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily can lower their risk of diabetes by 54% and women can lower theirs by 30%. Even one cup of coffee a day was shown to reduce risk of diabetes.

Even drinking decaffeinated coffee showed benefits, although more modest: a 26% risk reduction for men and 15% for women.

Tea did not seem to have this effect.

The research, which followed 125,000 people over a 12-18 year period, provides the strongest data to date on the benefits of coffee drinking.

Earlier studies have shown that coffee can help prevent Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, colon cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and depression. It can even prevent the onset of an asthma attack.

Brazil’s First Estimate of 2004/05 Crop

The Minister of Agriculture recently published the official first estimate of the 2004/05 Brazil coffee crop and their final estimate of the 2003/04 crop. The estimates were released by CONAB, the National Supply Company in conjunction with the Federal University of Lavras, MG, after a survey by technicians visiting the principal regions of all the coffee growing States during the month of November.

The third and final estimate of the 2003/04 crop was calculated at 28.460 million bags in line with their second estimate made in June which predicted a range between 27.800 and 30.087 million bags.

The first official estimate of the 2004/05 crop predicts a minimum maximum range between 34.110 and 37.475 million bags for an average of 35.793 million bags.

The CONAB survey reports stability with little change from last crop figures for planted area and number trees. The planted area is calculated at 2,203,400 hectares and the coffee park at 4,957,500 thousand trees. Although private and official sources report there has been eradicaton in some marginal growing areas with switching to the more cash crops of sugar cane, corn and soy, it would appear the bulk of this diversification took place after the 2002/03 crop. This latest CONAB survey indicates that the planted area and number of trees has now stabilized over the last year.

The CONAB report also states that the conditions of precipitation and temperature in most of the Arabica producing regions was normal over the period and the flowering considered good but not as intense as verified for the record 2002/03 crop. However, it was noted that the Conillon/Robusta producing States of Espirito Santo and Rondonia suffered drought conditions during critical times, which has hurt the flowering and has reduced crop potential.

CONAB also calculated the yield per hectare for the 2003/04 crop at 12.93 bags of 60 kilos and the yield for the 2004/05 crop at 17.01 bags.

It should be noted that most private estimates so far for the 2004/05 crop range between 40.0 to 45.0 million bags. The USDA has not yet issued an estimate for the 2004/05 crop but their final estimate for the 2003/04 crop was 32.0 million bags in comparison with the CONAB final estimate of 28.46 million bags. - Harry C. Jones

Starbucks Opens First Store in Paris

Starbucks Coffee International and its joint venture partner Grupo Vips celebrated the opening of the first Starbucks store in Paris in January.

The store is located in the heart of the city at 26 Avenue de l’Opera, one of Paris’ popular tourist and shopping districts. Starbucks Coffee France SAS, the joint venture company, will manage the day-to-day operations of Starbucks retail locations in France.

“Paris is the ideal gateway for Starbucks entry into the French market,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, Starbucks Coffee Company. “We take great pride in opening our first Starbucks store in France, and look forward to building a great and enriching relationship with the French people by offering them the highest quality of coffee along with the ‘Starbucks Experience”

In addition to the first store, Starbucks Coffee France also opened its second store in the business area of La Defense, at the foot of the Coeur de France office block.

Starbucks has also announced an agreement with Max Havelaar France to offer one Fair Trade certified coffee product in all of its stores in France. Max Havelaar is an independent international organization that grants its label to brands that adhere to international Fair Trade standards. The certification guarantees customers that these coffee products have been purchased at a fair price from producers.

Juan Valdez Opens His Own Shops

Colombia - The Colombian Coffee Federation plans to open 10 “Juan Valdez” gourmet coffee shops around the world this year, including one in New York City, following the success the franchise has enjoyed in Colombia, reported Reuters News Service.

In 2003, the operation, then an experiment by the Federation, netted $708,000 in sales in its first year of operation. Growers who sell specialty beans to the Juan Valdez franchise receive a 45% premium. The stores are part of the Federation’s drive to conquer a larger profit share in today’s competitive global coffee market by selling the drink directly to consumers.

“Our great challenge is to open in 2004 the first ten Juan Valdez stores abroad, beginning with one store in Panama City (Panama) in the first weeks of January and then a second store in the Federation’s office in the heart of New York City,” Federation general manager Gabriel Silva told reporters.

The shops will sell espresso drinks and other coffee shop staples, in addition to souvenirs like T-shirts bearing Valdez’ s likeness and logos.

The Federation wants to set up partnerships with foreign companies and allow small and medium-sized coffee growers to own shares of the project, Silva said.

The location of the stores has been kept a secret, but in private officials say they are studying opening shops in the Florida as well as in Europe and in Asia.

Faced with low international prices for green coffee, Colombia - the world’s number two producer after Brazil - wants to sell more processed coffee as it strives to win a larger share of today’s cutthroat $70 billion global coffee market.

After a brief break due to budget cuts, the Federation in 2003 relaunched the advertising campaign of the Juan Valdez character, which was created in 1960 by New York-based DDB Worldwide Marketing and immediately became a pop icon.

Tea & Coffee - February/March, 2004


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