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Urnex Brands, Inc. Announces New European Distribution Center

Urnex Brands, Inc. has opened a distribution and logistics center in Moerdijk, Netherlands - just outside of Rotterdam. The new distribution center contains almost all Urnex Brand products, and has the capability to pick/pack/ship any set of items directly to customers and distributors in the EU and abroad. The choice, as to whether to ship from their European facility or New York, is based on cost and efficiencies of time.

This new distribution center represents another step in the expanding focus on international markets at Urnex Brands, Inc., Distributors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will now be able to acquire Urnex Brand products with greater speed and efficiency than was previously possible. Distributors residing inside the European Union (EU) may find this new facility to be especially useful, as the warehoused goods will have already cleared duty into the EU. All products stored in the new distribution center are packaged in a manner consistent with the requirements of the EU, and contain instructions in English, German, French and Spanish.

Urnex Brands, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of specialty cleaning products for coffee and espresso equipment.

Coffee Fest Seattle Pours Big Numbers

The specialty coffee industry is thriving, if attendance at Coffee Fest Seattle is any indication. The event was held from October 27-29, 2006 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center where over 7,600 coffee shop retailers, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs and other specialty coffee professionals sampled the latest in specialty coffee, tea and related products.

Attendance was up 31% and exhibitor participation was up 23% over the Seattle’s 2005 show figures.

“In light of everything that has been happening in our country including fuel prices which can affect travel planning, we’re elated that we not only matched but soundly beat last year’s numbers,” said David Heilbrunn, Coffee Fest’s show manager. “This is a clear indication that the specialty coffee and gourmet tea industries continue to grow.”

Awards were given to the top three new products at Coffee Fest Seattle. Torani/R. Torre & Company took first place honors for their Torani Pure Flavor. The second place went to Phoenicia Patisserie’s Bakla Bites, and third place was StixToGo’s StirStix. Industry professionals who evaluated the appeal of the new product to retailers, as well as innovation or technological advancement judged more than 60 new products.

The Stirling Signature Beverage Open competition provided a platform for baristi to create for the judging panel their favorite signature beverage. Each beverage was evaluated for taste and innovation. First place in the innovation/creativity category was Lino Mastrangelo from Brazza Gelato and Coffee, Vancouver B.C., with his Espresso Infused Tiramisu. First place Best Tasting Signature Beverage was awarded to Anna Gutierrez from Dillanos Coffee Roasters, Washington, with her Tomaselli’s Tiramisu Tini.

The sixth annual Seattle Millrock Free Pour Latte Art competition featured the most talented talent pool to date and the competition was extremely tight between all 20 baristi as they vied for the championship and the $1,000 first prize.

Taking home top honors were: 1st place, Colter Jones - Caffe Artigiano, Vancouver BC; 2nd place, Justin Teisl - Alterra Coffee Roasters, Wisconsin; 3rd place, Chris Baca - Wanderlust Coffee Co., California. Competitors came from all over the country, and as far away as Tokyo to compete.

Coffee Fest is a trade show catering to the specialty coffee and gourmet tea industries. Coffee Fest’s next shows are slated for the Chicago’s Navy Pier February 23-25, 2007, Atlanta June 1-3, 2007, and Seattle November 9-11, 2007.

First Rainforest Alliance Certification in Africa

A group of 678 coffee farmers in Ethiopia collectively became the first in Africa to obtain Rainforest Alliance sustainability certification, meeting Rainforest Alliance’s strict set of environmental and social standards, including for ecosystem and wildlife conservation, agrochemical reduction, better worker housing, healthcare and education and many other criterias.

The farmers were certified as a group under the administration of ASK International Trading, PLC and Jihad Mohammed, owner of a washing and buying station in Haro, Ethiopia’s Manna province. They cultivate the coffee, Ethiopia’s primary agricultural export crop, together with subsistence crops like avocado, banana and beans, in gardens covering 4,500 acres.

This new certification is the first awarded by the Rainforest Alliance to a coffee farm outside of Latin America, where the organization works in 11 countries on more than 6,500 farms. According to Ethiopian coffee exporter, Suffian Mahdi, it is a harbinger of interest among African coffee growers, many of whom have noted the sustainability certification phenomenon in Latin America, and the advantages it confers in competitive global markets.

It took the farmers about a year of making improvements, with the help of Rainforest Alliance advisors, local supporters, such as Mahdi and the Belgian-based coffee trading house Efico, to obtain certification. However, now that it has been achieved, said Patrick F. Installe, managing director of Efico, it will help empower the community while fighting environmental degradation.

The farmers sold their first batch of certified coffee, totaling nearly 1.5 million pounds, to Kraft earlier this year. They planned on using the profits they made to buy work boots, tools and animals to haul their crops, Mahdi said. Future profits will be invested in additional water wells and improvements in clinics and schools.

For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.

To submit a press release or for further information on Trade News, please contact editor@teaandcoffee.com.

Tea & Coffee - December, 2006

Theta Ridge Coffee

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