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Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines

Anacafe To Hold Seminars on Guatemalan Coffees

Guatemala City - Anacafe will present a 13-day hands-on seminar on coffee cultivation, processing and cupping of its washed Arabicas. The seminar has been prepared specifically for discerning buyers.

The seminar, entitled “Guatemalan Coffees In-Depth,” which includes six of the eight coffee regions already known in the international market, will allow attendees to get first hand information from key players of the Guatemalan coffee sector. The training will take place in Guatemala City and will include visits to farms located in the city of Antigua, the volcanic region of Acatenango, the Lake Atitlán, the highlands of Huehuetenango and the rainforest microclimate of Cobán.

Anacafe president, Christian Rasch indicated, "an overview of the economy, social and political status of the country, its culture and the history of coffee will be presented in the introductory part of the seminar." Following this, "participants will learn about different soil, microclimate conditions, varieties and cup profiles of coffee types and regions.”

Attendees will also learn and experience how cultivation practices, wet milling and exporting procedures take place in Guatemala. All this information will be reinforced with cupping workshops of coffee types, regions and other origins compared to Guatemala, and exporting preparations according to the different international protocols available in the market.

The first seminar will be held January 18-30 for Japanese speakers (attendees should arrive the 18th and depart the 31st) and February 9-20 for English speakers (attendees should arrive the 8th and depart the 21st). Both will be limited to four attendees minimum and 15 maximum. The cost per person is $3,000 (does not include transportation to Guatemala; personal expenses; beverages or additional tours).

For registering or additional information regarding the seminar, please contact Gabriela Cordón, at gabrielacv@anacafe.org or visit Guatemalan Coffees website www.guatemalancoffees.com.

Kraft Shuts Vancouver Coffee Plant

Vancouver - Kraft Foods is closing its Vancouver coffee roasting plant, as reported in the Times Colonist. The plant that started its life as Dickson's Coffee will close its doors due to Kraft's decision to consolidate operations. The plant roasted and packaged coffee for the foodservice industry under Kraft brands such as Maxwell House and Nabob, as well as the Dickson's and Melrose banners.

Manager Jim Pritchard said, “The decision to close is to more effectively use the company's assets going forward. They're going to consolidate all the [coffee-production] volumes into a plant in Ontario."

The plant has been at its West Eighth Avenue location since 1966, but can trace its roots back to 1895 when the firm was known as Dickson's Importing Co.

Dickson's was bought by General Foods in 1987, then combined with Kraft Foods following General Foods' parent company Philip Morris' purchase of Kraft in 1989.

Coffee Authority Destroys 60 Tons of Poor Quality Coffee

Kampala - Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has destroyed 60 tons of coffee beans worth Shs190 million. The coffee was confiscated from traders in separate verification exercises carried out countrywide, after the beans were proved to be substandard. UCDA officials said the 60 tons of coffee were recovered from traders who sought to make profits from illicit trade.

The development, however, came days after the authority released its annual report, which indicated that the quality of Uganda coffee has tremendously increased.

The report showed that Uganda bagged $338.5 million (about Shs602.5 billion) in coffee exports in year 2007/08, which is relatively higher than $255.9 million received the previous year. It also indicated that the country exported a total of 212,846, 60-kilo bags valued at $26.8 million last month alone, representing an increase in quantity and value of 19% and 46% respectively.

Annual Houston Port Coffee Symposium

Houston - The 4th Annual Houston Port Region Coffee Symposium was held November 17-18. The two-day conference was themed "Houston Port Region: Coffee Gateway to Latin America!" and was sponsored by the Port of Houston Authority, the Greater Houston Coffee Association and the Economic Alliance Port Region.

Sessions focused on the Brazilian perspective of the coffee industry and Houston's increasing influence as the 4th designated green coffee port in the U.S. as well as a panel on getting coffee through customs and an advice session for small business entrepreneurs.

"In 2007, Brazil ranked as our largest coffee importer, followed by Columbia and Mexico, demonstrating Latin America's continued significance to the Houston Port Region's economy,” said Jim Edmonds, Port of Houston Authority chairman.

In addition, Edmonds served as keynote luncheon speaker. Other speakers included Alan Kaiser (National Coffee Association of the U.S.), Jose Maria Ribeiro Neto (coffee planter and member, Cooxupe), Don Pisano (American Coffee and chair of the Green Coffee Association Traffic & Warehouse Committee), L.B. Booty (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), Vera Braun (Coffee America USA, Inc.), Matt Braunner (Braunner Int.), Tammy Deininger (Volcafe USA LLC), Mike Sinclair (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) and Scott Singleton (Kadena Strategies, Inc.).

Tea & Coffee - December, 2008

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