Business World


My Year-End Observations

I don’t get it. Maybe my mind is turning to mush but I just don’t understand the following…

Coffee Price Crisis - Why is that with current depressed coffee prices, some African countries are revitalizing coffee plantings and planting more trees? And why do international aid organizations continue to fund these type of projects?

Promotion - Why do companies fail to promote their products adequately…and why are generic consumption campaigns not financially supported? I heard some great messages about tea at the recent World Tea Forum in New York City - yet I have never seen the industry support a generic campaign for the general public. It could be so beneficial. What’s up with that?

Foodservice - So much money to be made, so much education needed. Lose that customer once and they’re lost forever. I still don’t order tea in restaurants. The water isn’t hot enough, the presentation stinks, a teabag is thrown at you, sometimes they don’t hand you another teabag when you request a second cup. Please send more people into the field.

... And then, there seems to be some hope.

Roasters Guild - Oh my goodness…what passionate people! The young Turks I knew back in the 70’s must be so proud of these roastmasters today. Techniques are being analyzed and mastered and new ideas exchanged. These young roastermasters are so excited to learn every aspect of the roasting craft and share information with one another.

C-members - No, it’s not the price on the Exchange, but a group of enthusiastic consumers who have their own membership at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). They have an unquenchable thirst for information about coffee, and a strong desire for saving our coffee…exploring our coffee culture….examining all technologies available for brewing and roasting. They want to talk with us, and they are here to help us learn the needs of the people who should be our true focus. They want to tell us what products they are looking to buy - and it won’t even cost us a market research dime!

Web sites - Web sites, designed by coffee-loving consumers are popping up all over the web. These sites are disseminating information to fellow consumers and exchanging ideas with trade members.

In this day and age, the web site is usually the first place a customer goes for information on a product. This is their introduction to your company. If someone looks at your web site, what image and information is your company presenting?

Here’s to an even better 2004….Happy New Year!

Jane McCabe
Editor & Co-Publisher

Tea & Coffee - December/January, 2004

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