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Miko acquires remaining shares in Miko Kava in the Czech Republic

Belgium-based coffee roaster,Miko, has now exercised its call option on the remaining 30 % of the shares, making this company a wholly owned subsidiary. Miko had already owned 70 % of the shares in the Czech coffee service operator Miko Kava,

Miko decided in March 2001 to acquire this company as part of its strategy in Central Europe, characterised by a cautious “step-by-step” approach. “While the focus then was on the declining vending market, under the guiding influence of Miko’s expertise, a turnaround was achieved. Shifting towards smaller coffee concepts, requiring smaller budgets, which resulted in a positive cash flow, did this. It is thanks to this approach and its results that we decided to fully commit ourselves to this market,” explains Frans Michielsen, Miko group’s CEO.

Turnover of Miko Kava, which rose in 2006 by 9 % to 450,000 EUR, is realized by 10 staff operating Pisnice, a stone’s throw away from Prague.

Rainforest Alliance Lauds Coffee Firms

The Rainforest Alliance, a nonprofit international conservation organization, recognized the following coffee compagnies at their 20th anniversary gala in New York City. Receiving awards are companies that have significantly advanced the goals set forth by the Rainforest Alliance and have integrated environmental and social sustainability into their work. They are: Kraft Foods Inc., UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd; Caribou Coffee Company, Inc.; and Nestlé Nespresso SA

“The Rainforest Alliance is proud to honor these business leaders that have been incorporating a responsible approach into every day decisions and encouraging sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry and tourism,” said Tensie Whelan, executive director of the Rainforest Alliance. “We are encouraged by the expansion of a greener corporate culture that is helping tip global markets toward sustainability.”

Kraft Foods Inc. — As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, Kraft, with brands such as Maxwell House, Yuban, Kenco, Jacobs, Gevalia and Jacques Vabre, is passionate about coffee. In 2003, Kraft and the Rainforest Alliance launched a partnership to move Rainforest Alliance Certified sustainable coffee to mainstream markets. To date, Kraft has purchased more than 50 million pounds of coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and has successfully launched six coffee products in Europe and the US that feature the Rainforest Alliance seal. Kraft’s commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification has had an impressive impact on coffee producing regions, where thousands of farms have adopted the sustainable agriculture standard, resulting in better worker housing, healthcare, education and the protection of forests, wildlife and rivers. Farmers have invested the premiums Kraft pays for its Rainforest Alliance coffee in an array of improvements ranging from a school in El Salvador that the Ciudad Barrios Coffee Cooperative built for a nearby community to reforestation by farmers in the severely deforested Convencion Valley of southeast Peru, where shade coffee farms provide the only refuge for many threatened animal species.

UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd — UCC Ueshima Coffee Company, Ltd. is not only Japan’s largest coffee roaster, it is Asia’s leading promoter of sustainable coffee and orange juice. Since it was established in 1933, UCC has been instrumental in increasing coffee’s popularity in Japan and southeast Asia, where the company sells cans of brewed coffee and packages of ground and roasted beans. While it is known for the high quality of its products, UCC also contributes to the quality of life in farming communities by purchasing Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee and oranges. Those farms include Guatemala’s Finca Nueva Granada, where the owners have established a library and vaccination program for workers’ children, as well as various other farms in El Salvador that protect streams, forests and wildlife. By contributing to increased coffee consumption in Asia while buying from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, 74-year-old UCC can continue to support sustainable development for generations to come.

Nestlé Nespresso SA — Nestlé Nespresso SA’s AAA Sustainable Quality Program is changing the way increasing quantities of the world’s coffee is grown. The AAA Program was developed and launched in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance and its partners in the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), a coalition of independent, nonprofit conservation groups that set the Rainforest Alliance Certified standards, and is supported by all of Nespresso’s green coffee suppliers and experts in sustainability. In the three years since the program’s inception, there has been substantial improvement in coffee quality, environmental sustainability and social responsibility on more than 16,000 farms that produce coffee for Nespresso's gourmet coffee capsules. Experts from the Rainforest Alliance and SAN groups in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Mexico train and then visit farmers periodically to ensure they meet and exceed the sustainability standards developed by the SAN partners in collaboration with Nespresso. These standards improve conditions for farm workers and communities, enhance coffee quality and protect the natural resources on which farmers depend for their livelihoods. To date, 30% of Nespresso’s coffee is sourced from farms belonging to the AAA Program. By 2010 the share of coffees from the program will rise to 50 percent of total volume (a volume which is set to double in the same period), making it a truly successful model of sustainability at work.

Caribou Coffee Company, Inc. — Since opening its first coffee house in 1992, the Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee Company has grown into the second largest company-owned, gourmet coffeehouse operator in the U. S. In each of its more than 450 coffeehouses, Caribou Coffee advances its mission to deliver an experience that makes the day better. The company extends that positive sentiment to the farms and communities from which it purchases coffee, improving the lives of farmers, workers, their families and the environment through its partnership with the Rainforest Alliance. Caribou Coffee is helping its supplier farms comply with the organization’s certification standard for environmental and social responsibility, a process that has led to better working conditions, a healthier environment and community improvements in dozens of coffee growing areas. By 2008, Caribou Coffee’s goal is to buy 50% of its coffee supply from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. In addition to its work with the Rainforest Alliance, Caribou Coffee also donates money to other nonprofit organizations that work in poor coffee growing communities. This includes Coffee Kids and Grounds for Health, and the funding of charitable efforts, including the construction and support of a rural clinic, which they are doing together with an exporter in Guatemala.

2007 Nicaragua Cup Of Excellence Winners

"A multi-dimensional coffee that is sweet and extremely aromatic with a crisp, bright and lively body, round acidity, and topped with citrus notes." So describes the winning coffee at the 2007 Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition held this past April in Ocotol, Nicaragua. The top coffee, Las Golondrinas, from Marcio Benjamin Peralta Paguaga, received a score of 94.84 out of 100, the highest score given to a Nicaraguan coffee in the past six years of participation in the COE competition.

The competition was the culmination of a three-week event in which national and international juries gathered to evaluate more than 350 coffees. From April 21 through April 25, 2007, the final International Jury convened in Ocotol to cup the top lots of coffee.

Overall, jury members noted that the coffees presented for cupping this year were an indictor of the breadth of quality that is available from Nicaragua. "We feel that the quality coffees we cupped here could definitely change the way Nicaragua coffee is viewed within the market," explains Silvio Leite, the head judge for this event " Uniqueness and high quality will now come to mind when we speak of Nicaraguan coffees."

Rounding out the top five wining lots are: La Union, Donaldo Vanegas Cruz (91.58); Villa Fontuna, Daniel Matute Lopez (90.76); La Termopilas, Prodecoorp R.L. (90.58); and Santa Isabel, Jaime Armando Lovo (90.55). All 34 lots received a score of 84 or higher.

Of the 34 coffees auctioned off on June 6, 2007, 20 brought in a price ofmore than $5/lb. The total auction value for all coffees sold reached $550,000, with an average price per pound ($6.58) well above last year’s average of $4.14/lb.The price support for all of the Nicaraguan COE coffees is due to the continued efforts on the part of Nicaraguan coffee farmers to focus on quality improvements. “Our coffee will not let you down,” said the winning farmer, Marcio Benjamin Peralta Paguaga. “Personally, this is very satisfying, for me, my family and the farm workers who are also a very important part of this award.”

Roger Castellon from Hacienda Los Nogales, received an auction price of $6.80/lb. for his coffee which placed sixth in the COE competition. “After 70 years of being a coffee producer, never in my life did I ever imagine that I would be able to obtain this price for my coffee. There isn’t a crop more noble than coffee, because even though there have been low prices in the past, if you focus on good management there is a market that recognizes

Since its beginnings in 1999, the Cup of Excellence program has hosted programs in Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Colombia. The Cup of Excellence program is managed by the non-profit Alliance for Coffee Excellence, Inc. Web: www.cupofexcellence.org

To submit a press release or for further information on Tea & Coffee's Trade News, please contact editor@teaandcoffee.net.

Tea & Coffee - July, 2007

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