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Tea & Coffee's Business Classifieds!
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Tea & Coffee World Cup Exhibition

VICAM Sold to Waters

Waters Corporation has purchased the food safety technology business and associated net assets of VICAM for an undisclosed amount of money. VICAM single-use food safety test kits are designed to test for the presence of mycotoxin and microbiological organisms in a wide variety of food products. For regulatory-compliant analysis of mycotoxins, VICAM immuno-affinity columns isolate the contaminants to be measured in the laboratory by sensitive methods of analysis including fluorometer measurement, high performance liquid chromatography or newer, more sensitive techniques such as Ultra Performance LCTM and mass spectrometry.

“What initially attracted Waters to VICAM was its leadership position in this important segment of the food testing business, coupled with its strong customer commitment and their focus upon creating relationships with relevant regulatory agencies,” said Dr. Mark Baynham, director - chemistry and consumables marketing, Waters Corp.

Waters Corp. holds worldwide leading positions in three complementary analytical technologies: liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and thermal analysis. These market segments account for $4.5 - $5.0 billion of the overall $20+ billion analytical instrumentation market.


MIKO Reports Annual Sales

Miko, a manufacturer in coffee service and plastic packaging, achieved a turnover of ? 82.99 million in 2005. This is an increase of 10% over the previous year. Around 72% of the turnover was achieved outside the Netherlands.

The coffee service activities accounted for 57% of the group turnover, while the plastics division brought in the other 43%. The turnover of the coffee service division was up 4% compared to 2004. In the Netherlands, England and France, turnover increased significantly by respectively 12%, 9% and 8%.

Plastic packaging saw a rise in turnover of 19%. Both the Belgian and the Polish plastic packaging subsidiaries, which realized a growth in turnover of respectively 19 and 26%, achieved this. Frans Michielsen, c.e.o. of the Miko group said, “During previous years, we have invested quite a lot in Poland in both people and assets. Our Polish plant can - from now on - be compared with Western Europe based companies with regard to quality, safety and hygiene. The intensive focus in previous years on the above aspects is now starting to bear fruit. Our company has now built up a good reputation there, and that is, of course, benefiting growth. The growth in Belgium is closely related to a number of major projects, which were acquired in the course of 2004; these have reached cruising speed in 2005.”

Miko has been active in coffee service for over 200 years and in plastic packaging for some 30 years now, and was floated on Euronext Brussels in 1998. Miko follows a “two-pillar strategy” in which its core activities - coffee service and plastic packaging - are practically independent entities each with its own management, so that each activity can follow its own growth path. The group employs 537 people and achieved a turnover of ? 82.99 million in 2005. It is an international group, which owns companies in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


Sustainable Harvest Opens Division in Peru

Sustainable Harvest Coffee, a Portland, Oregon-based specialty coffee importing company, has opened a second division called Sustainable Origins South America (SOSA). “The addition of our South America office in Lima, Peru demonstrates our strong commitment to build the industry’s best coffee business relationships at the source,” says David Griswold, founder and president of Sustainable Harvest.

The SOSA operation will serve as a training facility where organic, fair trade growers from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia can meet with roaster customers during their regular visits. Sustainable Harvest is particularly unique because of its commitment to reinvesting 50% of the company’s budget into farmer training and grower relations.

The office is equipped with a “cupping” laboratory that will ensure quality and consistency, and will train grower representatives on the key attributes of taste that roasters are looking for.

Claudia Aleman and Oscar Gonzales, have been hired to staff the SOSA office. Claudia Aleman, the relationship coffee manager for SOSA, has significant coffee grower co-op organizing experience. She was a consultant for the Peru government on a World Bank funded project to help increase competitiveness among small farmers in various agricultural products. Oscar Gonzales serves as supply director for SOSA. Gonzales has more than 10 years of experience in the coffee industry working with cooperatives and smallholder farmers.


CQI Lauches QCOFFEETRADE.COM

The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) has launched a virtual marketplace for Q coffees- qcoffeetrade.com. Evolving from the Q Auctions, Q Coffee Trade will host both the Q Auctions as well as the new Q Market. The Q Market is a bid/ask system giving buyer and seller the opportunity to negotiate sale terms directly and unlike auctions which center around a one-time event, the Q Market is open continuously allowing transactions to take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For the first phase, the site will feature coffees from Central America, which have gone through the Q Grading process and meet the minimum requirements of 80 or more points, using industry accepted standards as defined by the SCAATechnical Standards Committee. In addition, the site will contain a selection of Rainforest Alliance certified coffees from Central and South America, which have also gone through the Q Grading process.

“We feel we have created a compelling package for buyers and sellers of high quality coffees that complements existing green sourcing systems,” remarked CQI executive director, Margaret Swallow. She goes on to state, “qcoffeetrade.com incorporates the Q standards of quality while using state-of-the art technology developed specifically for the coffee industry by ExImWare. The result is a convenient and transparent market mechanism designed to benefit everyone along the value chain.” The Q Market is expected to open once the Q Auctions have concluded.

In a separate announcement, The Rainforest Alliance has teamed up with CQI to offer Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffees. This collaboration comes on the heels of the 2005 Q Auctions where several Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees were offered and were among those to earn the highest prices of the season. “It was a clear signal from the trade that quality is an important component in promoting sustainability,” comments Swallow.“

Sabrina Vigilante, marketing manager for Rainforest Alliance, remarks, “We’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of coffees our partners produce and by going through the Q Coffee Program, we can provide buyers with a tangible and reliable measure of that. We expect some fantastic coffees to be available.”

Origins to be represented include Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, and Peru.

The mission of the Rainforest Alliance is to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.


Colombian Coffee Farmers Celebrate Top Quality

After a three weeklong competition held in Armenía, 23 coffee farmers were honored with the coveted Cup of Excellence award. This was the second Cup of Excellence event to be hosted in this area, which focuses on the northern and central coffee-growing regions of the country. Since Colombia uniquely features two distinct harvests, another competition will take place in late August to capture the best coffees from the later harvest and Colombia’s southernmost coffee-growing regions.

Over 600 farmers entered samples into the competition involving six cupping rounds, over 30 national and international coffee cuppers, two roasters and over 25 staff members coordinating the technical aspect of the stringent cuppings.

Luis Alberto Jojoa won the coveted first place with a 16-bag lot from his farm, Perla del Otun, located in the municipality of Pitalito. Six of the 23 winners are located in Pitalito.

Second and third places were awarded to Neovan Manrique with a lot from the Progresso farm, and Olga Lara Peromo from the La Virginia farm. The three top scoring coffees were less than one point apart in scores. The fourth presidential award was handed to Alonso Sevilla Zúñiga, also from Pitalito, and with a coffee lot from the Dos Quebradas farm.

Most of the winning coffees come from very small farms. With the exception of four farms, all of the farmers had less than 10 hectares of coffee growing area and most had less than five hectares.

“With the number of small farmers, and the unique microclimates and diverse mountain geography, we have found phenomenal and unique flavor profiles especially as many of the farmers are focusing on quality improvement on an unprecedented scale to win the competition,” indicated Susie Spindler, manager of The Cup of Excellence program.


Kraft to Build in St. Petersburg

Coffee manufacturer, Kraft said it would invest $100 million to build a new plant near St. Petersburg in order to satisfy Russia’s growing taste for instant coffee. The new plant will work alongside Kraft’s existing coffee-packaging facility near St. Petersburg. The move of production to Russia coincides with a boom in coffee consumption. Russia has become the fastest-growing market for the company in general and coffee in particular, Michel Boon, director for Kraft Foods in Russia, said, “Up to now, we have imported coffee from Germany and the U.K., but as demand continues to grow we’ve decided on a plant in Russia.”

The company’s existing coffee plants in Europe have now reached capacity, he added. The move makes Kraft the second foreign company after Nestle to have a full-cycle coffee operation in Russia. When the plant begins operating in October 2007, it will handle production of Kraft’s Jacobs Monarch, Carte Noire and Maxim brands. Its Maxwell House and Jacobs Aroma brands will continue to be imported from Western Europe and packaged in St. Petersburg. The new plant is to employ some 250 people, Boon said. Kraft will invest $50 million in the St. Petersburg plant’s infrastructure, with the remaining $50 million going into the equipment required to produce freeze-dried coffee. Sales of freeze-dried coffee grew by more than 80% in 2005 in real terms, Kraft said.

In February, the government suspended for nine months a 5% import tariff on green coffee imported into the country; 80% of the coffee Russians consume is instant, according to Euromonitor.


New Soluble Plant in Paraguay

Far removed from their former factory and partners, father and son team of Enrique and Alberto Meyer are constructing a new soluble tea plant near Asuncion, Paraguay. It is in the countryside near Ita on the highway heading south to Encarnacion and Argentina, about 35KM from the capital. The Meyers are moving equipment to produce soluble tea from the site of their former collaboration, which will remain capable of producing soluble coffee. Investments, including the existing equipment and new purchases to complete the installation, will be close to $3 million. The new factory should be operational this month (May) and will have a total production of 1,500 metric tons per year, with initial capacity of 750 MT/year. The product mix includes black instant tea (both hot & cold water soluble), green instant tea, instant yerba mate, and instant stevia extract. Stevia is a local shrub whose active component, Stevioside, is 300 times sweeter than sugar and has zero calories. There are no plans or equipment to produce soluble coffee.

The new factory will be even more efficient than the old because, as a new construction, the building is built around the best configuration of machinery. Interestingly, the new building is also built around a tree the owners are determined to save, which speaks volumes about the values of Enrique and Alberto Meyer.

There are many advantages to placing a soluble tea plant in Paraguay. Local labor is not expensive. Paraguay has a drawback law, so raw material incurs no duty if a final product is exported. Missiones, a major source of tea, is less than a day away and mate and stevia are readily available from Paraguay, as well as from surrounding countries. Private river ports are within a few kilometers of the new plant that have regular connection the ports of either Montevideo or Buenos Aires.

Meyer Instant Foods, Enrique Independencia Nacional 565, Piso 5, Asuncion, Paraguay. Tel: (595) 21 444-657, E-mail: alberto@meyrerinstantfoods.com.


Nestlé Nespresso Reports At Annual Meeting

Nespresso reported a growth of 36.5% for 2005, which is above Nestlé Nespresso’s sustained annual compound growth rate of more than 30% during the last five years. Global sales for 2005 totaled 819 million CHF (528 million euros).

Gerhard Berssenbrügge, c.e.o., Nestlé Nespresso, outlined: Units of coffee capsules sold globally in 2005 was 1.7 billion, a 29% increase from 2004; number of coffee machines sold in retail distribution outlets in 2005 was one million, compared to 619,000 in 2004; number of Club Members worldwide in 2005 was 2.2 million, up from 1.6 million in 2004; and with a market share of 16.6% in 2005.

The major machine release for Nespresso is Le Cube. Edgy in its visual impact and available in four colors, Le Cube will be available on shelves in Europe starting in September. It embodies pure, minimalist “cubed” design.

With two million club members to date, Nespresso has plans to move to Asia and Latin America in 2006. As part of this market expansion, Nespresso will open new boutiques in key cities in these regions: Latin America (Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires), Asia (Hong Kong, Shanghai). Further expansion is also planned in the USA with new boutiques opening in New York and San Francisco. Nespresso has recently signed a contract with George Clooney to star in its upcoming celebrity campaign.


Guatemala In Cup of Excellence Program

The Asociacion Nacional de Café (Anacafe´) and The Alliance For Coffee Excellence, Inc. (ACE) announced plans for a joint 2006 competition and auction program for the finest Guatemalan coffees. The international jury will meet May 29 -June 2, in Guatemala City to select the final coffees to be awarded the coveted Cup of Excellence. Those selected coffees will then be sold to the highest bidders during a world-wide internet auction which will be held on July 11, 2006, on the Cup of Excellence website.

“Guatemala produces some of the world’s finest coffees and we are excited to discover and award these farmers through the Cup of Excellence competition program,” explained Susie Spindler, executive director of ACE. José Angel Lopez, president of Anacafé mentioned that, “The coffee sector welcomes the Cup of Excellence program, which offers excellent marketing tools to those farmers committed to the production of high quality coffee.”

Anacafe has been concentrating its efforts on supporting farmers of exemplary-quality coffees, and previously sponsored the successful Exceptional Cup program in 2004 and 2005. “Along with their technical cupping and marketing knowledge, Anacafé has made tremendous inroads into the collection of specific farm information using GIS/GPS data, we are looking forward to a very beneficial partnership,” Spindler continued.

The Guatemalan competition will mark the 27th Cup of Excellence program since it’s beginnings in 1999. Other participating countries have enjoyed record prices at auction for their winning coffee lots.

For more information, log on to www.cupofexcellence.org and www.guatemalancoffees.org



Tea & Coffee - May/June, 2006
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