My Observations for 2008
Going Green - Carbon footprints, sustainability, certifications, socially responsible. Itís all getting so confusing, but what the industry has learned is that ecological and environmental investments will pay off. Wary at first, roasters and packers are embracing new methods and practices to make this world a better place for future generations.
Economy - Who will be in business next year? Weíre all bankers, everyone owes everyone. Importers are bankers, roasters are bankers, retailers are on credit and allied industry members are owed monies. And the bankers, I canít even imagine the mayhem theyíre experiencing.
Costs - Everything is going up. Is this all because of oil? Fuel costs are affecting crop transportation, fertilizer prices, paper costs. Why go on, you know it, we all know it.
Positives - Hang in there; weíve been through worse and we will get through this. I wonít say donít listen to the media but this is a news story that doesnít go away. Reporters embellish at times and provoke fear to get you to listen. Itís similar to a snowstorm warning here in New York City. The TV flashes warnings and alerts all day long and then this horrendous storm is not nearly as devastating as originally thought. Iím not downplaying this economic storm, just warning that it could cause hysteria at a time when we need to keep our wits about us.
Everyone can still afford a cup of tea and coffee. Use this time to cut costs and plan new strategies. How about an ad campaign highlighting the affordability of meeting friends for a cup of tea/coffee versus lunch or dinner? If nowís not the time, then when?
Moral of the Story - Stay calm, stay positive and stay cautious. While now is not the time to panic, it is the time to adapt. Lower costs at any opportunity, decrease spending as much as possible and rely on allied companies to strengthen the industry. If we can weather the storm together, clear and sunny days are ahead.
Editor & Co-Publisher
Tea & Coffee - December, 2008
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