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6th Annual Specialty Tea Institute Symposium to be Held

United States - The Specialty Tea Institute recently announced its 6th Annual Tea Symposium/Training Seminars. The Symposium and Seminars are being held in conjunction with the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 15th Annual Conference and Exhibition. The event will take place Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, 2003 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The STI Symposium is an educational opportunity to learn more about the specialty tea category. It is open to STI members and non-members alike, and offers attendees an excellent way to better grasp the market potential for specialty tea.

Topics to be discussed include Tea Demographics & Consumption, Demystifying Decaffeinated Tea, The State of the Industry, and Flavoring Teas for Appeal & Profit. Training seminar topics include The Basics of Sensory Evaluation of Tea, The Basics of Herbal Tea, and Origin Talk/Ceylon Teas. Seminar topics include The Basics of Specialty & Premium Tea, Great Water for Great Tea, Designing & Opening Your Café, and Certified Teas - Organic/Fair Trade/Kosher.

For further information, contact the Specialty Tea Institute at (212) 986-0250 or visit their web site: www.teausa.org.

New Coffee Program to Keep Kids off Streets
Costa Rica - Fraser Pirie, president of Costa Rica’s Best Coffees. Inc., announces a new program to be established in Costa Rica to help bring children in off the streets.

Kids on the Street is a program designed to help the Ministry of Children’s Affairs in Costa Rica pick up and bring in to shelters, children in need of help. Costa Rica’s Best Coffees is offering a 10-cent discount on all its green coffee. Five cents are returned to the buyers as a rebate and five cents are paid directly to the children’s project.

For each container of green coffee, $1,875 is rebated back and $1,875 is forwarded to the project.

University Approves Measure Supporting Fair Trade Coffee
United States - The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA), the student government of Georgetown University in Georgetown, Washington D.C., recently approved a measure sponsored by campus group Georgetown Students for Fair Trade (GSFT), which would call for a gradual transition of all on-campus vending outlets towards serving exclusively Fair Trade Certified coffee.

Similar to measures passed at UCLA, Boston College and other universities nationwide, the resolution, called a “preferred purchaser” restriction, will now be submitted to University administration for final approval.

“We feel that it is important for Georgetown, as a Jesuit institution and a globally active campus, to make a unilateral statement on this issue,” said Jessica Lee, a representative of GSFT, explaining why the group sought change from the administrative level. “GUSA approval marks the existence of key student support which is the ultimate foundation of our campaign and mission.”

“Currently, many coffee farmers receive as little as 20 cents per pound of coffee, well below their cost of production,” reads a statement released by Georgetown Students for Fair Trade. “The substantial difference between 20 cents and the Fair Trade price of $1.26 per pound often represents the road out of desperate poverty. It enables farmers to keep children in school, feed their families, improve healthcare and housing and invest in improving the quality of their coffee. Environmentally, an estimated 85% of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the US is also Certified Organic and most is grown under the canopy of bird-friendly shade trees, protecting wildlife habitats and the soil. Fair Trade Certified Coffee, currently sourced from 22 different countries, means quality - for coffee drinkers, farmers and the environment.”

Colombian Federation’s Storage Facilities Awarded ISO Certifications
Colombia - Almacafé, the coffee-warehousing subsidiary of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, has received two prestigious ISO awards from Bureau Veritas Quality International. ISO Certification 9001:2000 recognizes Almacafé’s thorough controls to select and classify parchment coffee at the Federation’s several hundred interior purchase stations and 25 coffee warehouses. In addition, Bureau Veritas certified Almacafe’s export classification system, through which all Colombian coffee must pass in order to earn export quality certification. “The ISO award certifications represent an important step forward in our ability to demonstrate to our Colombian coffee customers that the Colombian coffee growers and their Federation support total quality from tree to cup, and that we apply verifiable standards to document this commitment,” said Gonzalo Rivera, General Manager of Almacafé. He also noted that Almacafé has received ISO Certification 17025, attesting to the technical proficiency and reliability of its of 25 coffee quality control laboratories, located in both the interior and at the ports.

“These internationally respected ISO standards with which the Federation has agreed to comply further demonstrate our determination to enforce the Certification Mark “Colombian” in the U.S. and Canada, even before the coffee has left Colombia”, said Luis F. Samper, of the Federation’s office in New York.

“The Federation’s track record in documenting and enforcing quality standards for Colombian coffee constitutes a great advantage to the many importers, roasters, and consumers who want to rely upon a verifiable quality audit trail”, he said. “It protects the quality of our product, and also helps prevent possible tampering incidents that might occur within the food chain” he added, noting that the US Food and Drug Administration recently issued guidelines to food processors and manufacturers against possible tampering incidents as a result of the September 11 tragedy.

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is a non-profit democratic organization founded in 1927, and which today represents Colombia’s 560,000 coffee growers. For more information about Federation projects please visit www.juanvaldez.com and www.askjuan.com.

Canadian Coffee & Tea Expo 2003 to be Held
Canada - Canada’s top baristi will take to the stage this June to compete for top spot at the first Canadian Barista Championships to be held at the Canadian Coffee & Tea Expo 2003 at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre from June 20-21, 2003 in Vancouver, B.C..

The coffee baristi will take their best shot at the Canadian title and a first prize trip to the World Barista Championships in 2004 in Trieste, Italy. The two-day event will be featured on the trade show floor at this year’s Expo. Expo 2003 is Canada’s largest coffee and beverage trade show and educational forum where retailers, restaurateurs, industry buyers and decision-makers come together to see and learn about the latest products and trends influencing the beverage trade in Canada.

At this year’s expo, over 100 companies will be displaying products from around the world at the two-day trade show, and a two-day educational forum will feature over 20 seminars and workshops. For exhibitor information, visitor registration or Canadian Barista Championship entry forms call: (416) 784-5210, or fax (416) 784-5243. E-mail: info@coffee-expo.com Check out the latest show updates at: www.coffee-expo.com.

Tea & Coffee - March/April, 2003


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