Friday, April 23rd, 2004
I attended a talk called "Global Trends in World Coffee and Tea Consumption", and managed to hear a couple speakers: Joe Simrany and Ramaz Chanturiya.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear Maja Wallengren or Dr. Nestor Osorio speak as I had to move on to the next talk.
The talk began with Joe Simrany on the topic of tea. Mr. Simrany pointed out that the progress of tea and its popularity has been following the same trends as coffee but only at a slower pace: specialty tea, upscale & unblended tea, green/oolong/white, flavoured teas, traditional blends, chai & bubble tea, estate teas, and herbal teas. Looking at the list, there is a remarkable similarity of this to coffee.
Ramaz Chanturiya talked about the Russian coffee market, with key trends and prospects. The main point of interest was that 80% of the Russian coffee market is instant coffee, supplied primarily by Singapore and Germany. Up to 95% of Russia's instant coffee is produced outside of Russia.
Coffee to Russia has increased by 175%, although in 2002, market growth has decreased by 6-8%. However, 2003 saw a market expansion of 5%, showing a transition to stable growth. Up to 75% of roast and ground coffee in Russia is produced locally. In the next 3 years, it should increase up to 80-85%.
With the growing interest in specialty coffee in Russia, the SCAE Russian Chapter has conducted two national Barista Championships, and are sending representatives to Trieste.
There was a talk entitled "Coffee and Sustainability - Global Challenges" with Dr. Peter Baker and Annemieke Wijn, that caught my attention, and the attention of an almost packed room. Dr. Baker is the Coffee Projects Coordinator of CABI Commodities, and Annemeike Wijn was from Kraft. Mentions of Global warming, biodiversity, the coffee genome (the fact that most Arabica coffee has very little genetic variability is interesting), technological challenges (coffee is getting too easy to grow) all came up. Another type of coffee plant that is supposed to be more resistant to disease brought up issues of quality. What's the point in growing something that nobody likes to drink? All in all, it was a very interesting talk!