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Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines

Guatemalan Coffees Virtual Auction Receives Award

Guatemala - ANACAFE has announced that the Guatemalan Coffees Virtual Coffee Auction Program was selected, by the World Summit on the Information Society’s (WSIS), to receive a World Summit Award, as one of 25 outstanding e-content examples in the e-business (category Latin America and the Caribbean). A Guatemalan coffee expert nominated the Guatemalan Coffees Web page.

The products were evaluated by a panel of experts from 35 countries, who met in Bahrain, from September 3-10. Over 750 products from 168 countries participated and only five were selected from each of the eight categories of the WSA to complete a list of 40 WSA Best Content Products.

As an award winner, the Guatemalan Coffees virtual auction program will be featured in a showcase at the WSA Exhibition in the framework of the WSIS in Tunis, where the product will be mentioned in the video presentation at the WSA Gala; promotion of the product and the company throughout 2006 and 2007 in the WSA Best Content Catalogue and DVD-Rom; and will be included in the WSA Road Show, which is planned to take place in over 25 countries. For more information of the WSA awards, visit: www.wsis-award.org.

Survey Shows Employees Overestimate Cost of Office Coffee and Tea

United States - A recent survey of office professionals revealed that employees overestimate the cost per employee that their bosses would pay to provide free gourmet coffee and tea. Nearly half of those polled -- approximately 48% - believed it would cost their company between $1 and $5 a day to outfit their company kitchens with top-quality gourmet coffee and tea equipment and service. The survey also revealed that over 45% of office professionals spend up to $5 per day on coffee or tea they bring into work with them. More than 35% of those surveyed said their employer offers no free beverages or refreshments at all. InsightExpress, an independent market research firm in Stamford, Connecticut, conducted the market survey of 100 office professionals.

With the costs of major employee benefits rising, many companies are searching for creative, low-cost benefits to enhance employee morale and retention. InsightExpress feels that the findings here suggest that a free gourmet coffee and tea may be a good option.

Judson Kleinman, president of Corporate Essentials, a beverage service firm for professional businesses, says the actual cost for a coffee and tea service is usually less than $1 per employee per day.

Dubai Officials Cause Anxiety in Tea Market

Nairobi - The East African Standard (Nairobi) reported that top officials of the Dubai Tea Trading Centre (DTTC), a rival to the Mombasa Tea Auction, had planned to visit the coastal town of Mombasa to woo key industry players. The visit caused serious tension within the multi-billion shilling sector.

The DTTC is emerging as a major tea auction competitor to Kenya. The Standard reported that the officials were due to hold a one-day closed door meeting with tea players in Mombasa on October 6th. The meeting is said to be aimed at convincing key players under the Mombasa Tea Trade to join the DTTC stable. The DTTC has indicated it will give Kenyan players that join free warehousing facilities and access to letters of credit in Dubai. While in Kenya, the DTTC will be hosted by the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA). Some industry insiders view the DTTC move as a wider attempt to eventually control global tea trade.

Two major exporters of tea in Kenya, Lipton Brooke Bond and James Finlay, have already joined the DTTC, saying the move adds more value to business.

Colorado Celebrates Second Annual National Fair Trade Month

United States - In recognition of the growing demand for Fair Trade Certified food products, TransFair USA, the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the U.S., has proclaimed October as the second annual National Fair Trade Month. The month-long celebration was marked by a diverse array of events, which included gourmet food tastings, presentations by Fair Trade farmers and discussion panels.

Colorado’s Fair Trade Month activities included an opportunity to meet Brazilian Fair Trade coffee farmers, an event that was held at a Sam’s Club in Colorado Springs. While, Wild Oats Market of Glendale, Colorado was host to Nell Newman, the daughter of actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, as she signed copies of her book, “Guide to a Good Life” and served samples of her Green Mountain Coffee organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee.

Over the last six years, Fair Trade Certified coffee U.S. imports have grown more than 75% annually - with Colorado roasters alone purchasing more than 100,000 pounds last year. More than 350 companies are licensed to sell Fair Trade Certified products, and they are offered in more than 40,000 cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and dining service venues nationwide. Tea, among other products, is also certified by TransFair.

Apeejay, Tata Make Acquisitions Abroad Amid Tea Glut at Home

India - Tata Tea Ltd., whose brands include Tetley and Apeejay Surrendra Group, are making acquisitions abroad as demand at home slows amid a production glut, Bloomberg News reported.

Tata Tea agreed to buy California’s FMALI Herb Inc., the maker of Good Earth teas in mid-October. Apeejay is purchasing Premier Foods Place tea brands, including Typhoo for 80 million pounds ($140 million), Apeejay chairman, Karan Paul said in an interview.

India, the world’s biggest tea consumer, is struggling to find enough new drinkers to absorb mounting supplies. An overload has lowered prices, reducing retail sales for wholesalers including Tata Tea, according to London-based researcher Euromonitor International.

Tata Tea’s acquisition “will help them improve their global presence and make them strong,” said K.K. Mital, who manages 2 billion rupees of stocks, including Tata Tea shares, as chief investment officer at Escorts Asset Management in New Delhi. “That should be a positive factor for them. This is definitely going to improve the margins and profitability.”

Tea production in India, which accounts for more than a quarter of global output, rose 10.7% in the seven months that ended July 31 to 425.6 million kilograms, according to statistics compiled by the Tea Board in Kolkata.

NRC Honors Starbucks for Recycling Leadership

United States - The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) plans to present its Eighth Annual “Recycling Works” Recognition Award to Starbucks during a gala celebration in Washington, D.C., in January. The “Recycling Works” Recognition Award is presented to organizations that represent leadership in recycling, conservation of the environment, and the fulfillment of the National Recycling Coalition’s mission.

“Starbucks has shown incredible perseverance and leadership in working with its suppliers, Solo Cup Company, Mead-Westvaco and Mississippi River Corporation, to develop a paper coffee cup that contains 10% post-consumer recycled paper - a first for this industry, said Kate Krebs, NRC executive director. Now that Starbucks has successfully navigated the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process, other companies can benefit from the same technology,” Krebs added.

“We believe a healthy environment affects all people and that businesses are accountable to act responsibly,” said Jim Donald, Starbucks president and c.e.o. “Environmental responsibility is core to Starbucks’ roots and we are honored to receive this award as we continue to minimize our environmental footprint across every level of our supply chain operations, from coffee bean to coffee cup.”

The result of more than eight years of research and testing, the introduction of Starbucks recycled content cup in early 2006 will mark a major milestone in the company’s effort to address its environmental impact, lowering its dependence on tree fiber, which annually exceed more than five million pounds.

A major participant in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Starbucks offers customers a 10 cent discount for using a re-usable commuter mug, generating a strong, loyal base of customers that practice waste prevention. In 2004, customers used commuter mugs 15.1 million times, avoiding 655,000-lbs. of paper waste.

Tea & Coffee - November/December, 2005


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