GCR Jan 2021

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January/February 2021

KINGS OF THE CROP

Why the world’s producing superpowers are in a league of their own

A CLEAN COMMITMENT

What does it really take to achieve carbon neutrality?

NEW YEAR, NEW VISION

Industry leaders weigh in on the challenges and opportunities of 2021

UGANDA’S ROBUST PLANS

Africa’s largest exporter cements ambitious plans to increase production

A GLOBAL

GATEWAY

DMCC EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AHMED BIN SULAYEM ON TRANSFORMING DUBAI INTO A GLOBAL HUB FOR COFFEE TRADE www.gcrmag.com



CONTENTS January/February 2021

COVER STORY

A GLOBAL GATEWAY

Ahmed Bin Sulayem on promoting the commercial appeal of Dubai to leading global businesses, why he fears missed opportunities, and how he’s gearing up for rapid expansion.

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IN THIS ISSUE FEATURES

10 GLOBAL GATEWAY

DMCC Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem on transforming Dubai into a global hub for coffee trade

14 KINGS OF THE CROP

A look at the world’s dominant coffee producing superpowers and why they remain top of the production chain

18 A CLEAN COMMITMENT

The players pledging net zero emissions and what it takes to achieve carbon neutrality

28 PIECES FALL IN PLACE

Leading roasters and traders unite with the International Coffee Organization to improve economic sustainability of coffee

44 NO TIME TO WASTE

Huskeeswap combines sustainability with convenience

SUSTAINABILITY

42 PURPOSE AND PROFIT

ECOM Group on its commitment to innovative solutions and making a profitable supply chain

38 THE DEFINITION OF FUTURE

ow the new Enigma H Super Traditional machine is set reconcile the worlds of tradition and automation

46 THROUGH THE LENS

Olam Coffee sets itself ambitious roadmap targets to help safeguard the future of coffee production

48 KEEPING ABOVE WATER

Penagos has designed processing equipment to assist producers reduce their water usage, electricity consumption, and carbon footprint

50 LOOKING AHEAD

How Rancilio is improving its environmental footprint and the services it offers

30 INDUSTRY LEADER PREDICTIONS 52 SEAL OF APPROVAL Top industry influencers share their outlook on the year ahead

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UCC Coffee crafts a sustainable coffee capsule without compromising on freshness or quality

PROFILE

36 GLOBAL GOALS

Cafetto customers on why its more than just a cleaning solution brand

40 THE SIXTH SENSE

“OUR AMBITIOUS PLANS TO TRIPLE CAPACITY IN THE NEAR FUTURE ARE STRATEGICALLY ANCHORED IN DUBAI’S DRIVE AND ABILITY TO FACILITATE WORLD TRADE.” Ahmed Bin Sulayem

DMCC EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Probat embraces a new taste sensor system that puts human cuppers to the test

ORIGIN

22 UGANDA’S ROBUST PLANS

Africa’s largest coffee exporter has an ambitious plan to increase production and quality

LAST WORD

58 GET SET FOR MICE2021

It’s time to get back to business at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest dedicated coffee trade show

REGULARS 04 06 54 56

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EDITOR’S NOTE NEWS DRIP BY DRIP DIARY DASHBOARD MARKETPLACE JA N UA R Y /FE B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 | GCR

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EDITOR’S NOTE Global Coffee Report

PUBLISHER Christine Clancy christine.clancy@primecreative.com.au EDITOR Sarah Baker sarah.baker@primecreative.com.au JOURNALIST Ethan Miller ethan.miller@primecreative.com.au

NEW YEAR, NEW US I’M TORN WITH HOW I DESCRIBE 2020. Mainstream newspapers will call it “unprecedented”, but that’s a word I’d rather forget. “Repetitive, reflective, productive and destructive” seem more apt fits. Google revealed “Coronavirus”, to be its top search term of the year. “How to make a face mask?” was the top how-to question, followed by “how to make bread?” and “how to cut your own hair?” given hairdressers were forced to close during lockdown. I can say I attempted all three – proving my skill does live up to my surname. The United States election was unsurprisingly the biggest single news event of the year according to the most Googled searches. On reflection of our own industry, while it was no doubt a challenging year, we got through it, and with some pretty impressive outcomes. Companies moved into survival mode, forced to pause and reflect on their pathway, and focus on listening to customer needs, be it ecommerce methods of interaction, new delivery services, or increased demand for retail and soluble products. Some roasters pledged commitments to become carbon neutral or “resource positive”, Brazil and Vietnam achieved record volumes of production and to the credit of their supply chains, were reasonably unaffected by the global pandemic. And for the first time in history under the International Coffee Council, key public and private decisionmakers aligned on join actions to achieve a more sustainable and prosperous coffee sector, with the livelihood of producers and

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building a sustainable living income a top priority. In a year that feels relatively empty in terms of social engagements, it’s been surprisingly been eventful with action that’s forced us to address the industry’s most pressing needs. In this edition, we hear from some of the industry’s top leaders in our annual predictions special, on how they perceived “the year that was”, and what’s to come in 2021. Although if 2020 is anything to go by, who knows what’s ahead? At the end of 2019 in Italy, my last international trip pre-COVID, I asked Piero Bambi, son of La Marzocco Founder Giuseppe Bambi, his hopes for the industry. He told me he wasn’t worried in the slightest. “The future is in safe hands,” he said. In March 2020, the industry lost a global treasure in Bambi’s passing. While he nor anyone could have foreseen the year that was to come, I trust that Bambi had an inkling that with great leadership and a renewed focus, we would be alright no matter what comes next.

Sarah Baker Editor, Global Coffee Report

DESIGN PRODUCTION MANAGER Michelle Weston michelle.weston@primecreative.com.au ART DIRECTOR Blake Storey blake.storey@primecreative.com.au DESIGN Madeline McCarty, Kerry Pert BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING ACCOUNT MANAGER Courtney Walker courtney.walker@primecreative.com.au CLIENT SUCCESS Ben Griffiths ben.griffiths@primecreative.com.au CONTRIBUTORS Kamal Bengougam PHOTOGRAPHY Alexander Gresser, Kyagalanyi, UCDA HEAD OFFICE Prime Creative Pty Ltd 11-15 Buckhurst Street South Melbourne VIC 3205 Australia p: +61 3 9690 8766 f: +61 3 9682 0044 enquiries@primecreative.com.au www.gcrmag.com SUBSCRIPTIONS +61 3 9690 8766 subscriptions@primecreative.com.au

Global Coffee Report Magazine is available by subscription from the publisher. The rights of refusal are reserved by the publisher.

ARTICLES

All articles submitted for publication become the property of the publisher. The Editor reserves the right to adjust any article to conform with the magazine format.

COPYRIGHT

Global Coffee Report is owned and published by Prime Creative Media. All material in Global Coffee Report Magazine is copyright and no part may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means (graphic, electronic or mechanical including information and retrieval systems) without written permission of the publisher. The Editor welcomes contributions but reserves the right to accept or reject any material. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information Prime Creative Media will not accept responsibility for errors or omissions or for any consequences arising from reliance on information published. The opinions expressed in Global Coffee Report are not necessarily the opinions of, or endorsed by the publisher unless otherwise stated.


Re-imagining the future of coffee together

Livelihoods, Education and Nature at Scale

A roadmap to guide impactful partnerships for a resilient coffee sector For well over a decade, Olam Coffee has played a leading role in helping to build a sustainable coffee supply chain. With our presence on the ground in 18 coffee origins, our networks and sustainability teams, we have focused on programmes that make a lasting and tangible impact on the livelihoods of farmers, their communities, and the landscapes on which we all depend. Coffee LENS challenges us to do more.

“Through this new lens, we will achieve our vision of a living landscape where high-yielding and resistant coffee varieties are grown in fertile soils.� Vivek Verma CEO, Olam Coffee

Imagine what we could achieve if you joined us on this journey. Contact us: coffee@olamnet.com Discover more at ofiexperience.com olamgroup.com


NEWS In brief

NEWS DRIPBYDRIP 46

Olam’s sustainability goals include improving the livelihood of 200,000 farming households by 2025.

AFRICA About 1.7 million households in Uganda rely on coffee production, about 40 per cent of which are female-lead. Production has risen in recent years, hitting a record of 5.1 million bags in Coffee Year 2019-20, making Uganda the largest coffee exporter in Africa. See page 22. Olam Coffee has set itself an ambitious roadmap and 2025 targets to safeguard the future of coffee production. These include improving the productivity and incomes of 200,000 households, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent, and creating and sustaining healthy ecosystems. See page 46.

million bags in the 2020-21 harvest from June to September. Vietnam only started its 2021-21 harvest in November. At time of print, Rabobank estimated a production of 28.8 million bags of (mainly) Robusta coffee, which is a drop of 0.7 million bags from its previous harvest. Advances in research and development, and postharvest techniques have seen the two leading coffee producers’ production jump in recent years. See page 14.

See page 54.

ECOM has a large portfolio of projects to support the 600,000 farmers it works with, including more 300 sustainability projects, with a network of 1500 field agronomists and staff. But more technical assistance is required to help farmers reach profitable levels of productivity. See page 42.

According to Brazil’s government statistics agency CONAB’s estimate, Brazil produced 61.63

Agricultural machinery manufacturer Penagos is now active in 40 coffee producing countries around the world, with agents

AMERICAS

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or distributors in 24 of them. Its equipment for washed processing equipment has the lowest water consumption in the world. See page 48. See page 54.

ASIA PACIFIC

In the past 12 months the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Coffee Centre has handled 8000 metric tonnes of green coffee, roasted almost three million cups, with some of the industry’s largest roasters using the facility to leverage opportunities in the Middle East. In July 2020, the company announced plans to expand its Coffee Centre with the intention to position Dubai at the heart of the world’s leading coffee supply chains. The expansion aims to triple output from the current 20,000 tonnes of green beans. To date, more than 1750 companies joined DMCC in 2020. See page 10. Cafetto cleaning solutions has a global reputation, from its home of

61.63m

The number of 60-kilogram bags CONAB estimates Brazil produced in the 2020-21 harvest.



NEWS In brief

At ECOM’s laboratory in Nicaragua, coffee hybrids are developed and multiplied using vitro micropropagation techniques.

The new Enigma Super Traditional machine is set reconcile the worlds of tradition and automation and influence the next generation of baristas. Eversys’s new line of machines – the Enigma and Cameo ST – offer electronic intelligence, efficiency, control, as well as customisable aesthetics and leading edge in-cup quality and consistency. See page 38.

42 Australia to nearby Malaysia and the faraway Switzerland, Sweden, and United Kingdom. Customers Espresso Gear, Stellar M, Vassalli Service and Dankoff Coffee Specialist share their knowledge on the impact the brand if having to the businesses they serve and the equipment they sell. See page 36. Since its beginning as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017, Huskee has expanded from the Australian coast of New South Wales to hundreds of HuskeeSwap sites across 22 countries. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Hungary have joined Australia as some of its major markets. See page 44. Embracing the theme ‘Back to Business’, the 2021 Melbourne International Coffee Expo will provide a platform for the return to important face-to-face interaction, business, and connection to the coffee industry. See page 58.

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predictions from Annette Pensel of Global Coffee Platform, Camila Escobar of Juan Valdez, Cristina Madriñan of Buencafe, Jennifer “Vern” Long of World Coffee Research, Kamal Bengougam of Eversys, Marco Padelli of Gimoka, Scott Ford of Westrock Coffee Company and Yannis Apostolopoulos of the Specialty Coffee Association. See page 30.

See page 54. EUROPE

Many coffee businesses have pledged to reduce or neutralise their carbon emissions by 2030. Nespresso intends to do so by 2023, having already accomplished a 23 per cent carbon footprint reduction per cup versus 2009. By 2019, Löfbergs Group in Sweden had reduced its own emissions by 50 per cent compared to 2005. See page 18. Leading coffee roasters and traders have laid out a shared vision and plan with the International Coffee Organization on how to improve the economic sustainability of the coffee industry. Their goal is for 100 per cent of ICO member producing counties to reach prosperity by 2030. See page 28. Industry leaders share their vision, goals and challenges for 2021, with

The Taste Sensing System from Insent is commonly used in the pharmaceutical, beverage, and food industries. To date, more than 600 devices are in use, with 25 of them at coffee roasting plants in Japan. Roasting machine manufacturer Probat is using the device to help improve its work and that of its customers. See page 40. As of 2020, a 100 per cent renewable energy supply will cover the energy requirements of the Rancilio Group headquarters, certified through the Guarantee of Origin scheme. A focus on sustainability will guide Rancilio into and through 2021. See page 50. Using a unique top lid sealing technology that keeps coffee quality and freshness preserved, UCC Coffee has launched the EkoPod, certified as home compostable by TÜV Austria. See page 52.

8000

The number of metric tonnes of green coffee handled by the DMCC Coffee Centre in 2020.


SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT SERVICES SMS implements sustainability programs and provides products and services for rural populations. We aim to be the leading provider for socially responsible farmer-focused solutions, services, and products.

300+ SUSTAINABILITY PROJECTS 600,000+ PRODUCERS IN SUSTAINABILITY PROJECTS 1,500+ FIELD STAFF AND AGRONOMISTS 300,000+ FARMERS ON OWN DIGITAL PLATFORM 20M+ PLANTS AND SEEDLINGS DISTRIBUTED TO PRODUCERS 5 PLANT VARIETIES DEVELOPED AND REGISTERED ON THE

WCR CATALOGUE

Get in touch with SMS to build a sustainable supply chain and efficiently bring support directly to coffee producers. WWW.ECOMSMS.COM

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ECOM Trading


COVER STORY DMCC

DMCC’s global gateway DMCC EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AHMED BIN SULAYEM ON WHY THE WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING FREE ZONE IS HELPING TRANSFORM DUBAI INTO A GLOBAL HUB FOR COFFEE TRADE.

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hen Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), spoke to his consultants at an international management consultancy about investing in coffee, they advised him against it. They recommended other commodities such as meat and cocoa based on their algorithm for market growth, but Bin Sulayem stuck to his intuition. “There was no guarantee that our investment in coffee would be a success, but I saw its potential,” Bin Sulayem tells Global Coffee Report. “Back in 2016, I saw the emergence of specialty coffee and the uptake of single origins, cold drip, and ‘bulletproof’ coffee around the world. It was not the Turkish coffee I was associated with as a kid, like most Arabs do. This was a movement about quality coffee.” Bin Sulayem was convinced that by the time he helped establish a coffee centre in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, demand for such quality would peak, allowing the company to capitalise on market growth. His final motive is one of selfish reasons, Bin Sulayem affirms. “In the Gulf, every house has one or two people who believe they are coffee experts. Imagine if I could get our coffee into their hands and have them talking about a product from our coffee centre. Our work in the oil industry and diamond market is not something the local community connects with, but they would with coffee,” he says. In February 2019, DMCC, a Dubai Government authority and the world’s fastest-growing Free

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE visits the DMCC Coffee Centre.

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Zone launched the DMCC Coffee Centre at Jebel Ali. The facility is the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East, with the view to transform Dubai into a new global hub for coffee trade. In July 2020, DMCC announced plans to expand its state-of-the-art centre with the intention to position Dubai at the heart of the world’s leading coffee supply chains. The expansion aims to increase services, boost capacity, and triple output from the current 20,000 tonnes of green beans. The 15,000-square-metre facility offers a raft of customised services for the storage and roasting of green coffee, as well as packaging and delivery, complete with a La Marzoccoequipped training centre. The expansion means DMCC can introduce equipment to cater to the needs of local culture, including the blending of coffee and cardamom, a traditional Arab beverage. It will also cater to high demand for instant coffee, which is particularly appealing to the UAE’s Jewish communities during Shabbat, when only preheated water can be used. Dubai’s strategic geographic location offers connectivity between the fast-growing and highvalue consumer markets in the Middle East region, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and abroad. Bin Sulayem says of particular interest in 2021 will be targeting businesses in Europe and the United States. “Our ambitious plans to triple capacity in the near future are strategically anchored in Dubai’s drive and ability to facilitate world trade. Situated at the crossroads of the world, Dubai is perfectly placed to grow its market share for commodity trading, and the import and export of coffee, tea and a whole range of other commodities. To support this ambition, DMCC has developed a solid eco-system of infrastructure and best-in-class services that,


Image credit: Alexander Gresser

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COVER STORY DMCC

together, will encourage more businesses to base their operations at DMCC,” says Bin Sulayem. DMCC’s efforts are focused on promoting the commercial appeal of Dubai to leading global businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises around the world. By driving commodity trade through Dubai, Bin Sulayem says DMCC is also positively impacting vital sectors of the city’s economy including logistics, cargo volumes and aviation. As a result, it is supporting the government’s economic diversification plans while simultaneously contributing 10 per cent to Dubai’s gross domestic product. “Our growth is not overnight. We weren’t on anyone’s radar in 2003. We moved DMCC to its current location in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) in 2008 and continue to expand,” Bin Sulayem says. “At the time, 60 per cent of the world’s teas were getting re-exported via Dubai. Knowing that we are the largest re-exporter of teas and that 80 per cent of the countries that produce tea also produce coffee, told me that I’d be mad not to explore coffee as an opportunity.” And it’s paid off. In the past 12 months the DMCC Coffee Centre has handled 8000 metric tonnes of green coffee and roasted almost three million cups of coffee, with some of the industry’s largest roasters using the facility to leverage opportunities in the Middle East. “Demand is there. We’re working with business start-ups and large roasters, each with different needs. We were strategic in making sure the DMCC Coffee Centre is unbiased. It is a place that serves everyone. We want people to know we’re here and that what we produce is a quality product,” Bin Sulayem says. “I do believe companies will start chasing us to roast their beans because they want our DMCC stamp.” What that is exactly, Bin Sulayem says, is the chance to access one of the “best facilities in the world” as a gateway to a global audience. “Our business must be focused on the international market and meeting their needs. If South Africa, Angola, and other African countries send us their green beans to have them processed, roasted, blended, packaged, and redistributed from Dubai, for example, it will cost a whole lot less compared to doing it inland. That’s the reality right now. It makes business sense. If that changes in the future and it becomes comparative, fine. But for now, we can serve a need. We’re not striving to be better than anyone. I just want to show the industry what Dubai’s capabilities are,” Bin Sulayem says. “There’s a lot of opportunities we need to take advantage of. The thing that frightens me is lost opportunities. Competition breeds quality, and sure, there are some people who may not be ready to think about setting up in Dubai now, but when they are, we’ll be ready. They can try us out for one month, two months, it doesn’t matter. What does is that they experience our coffee club, come and play, and learn that we represent quality and a product that tells a story.”

FROM CRISIS COMES OPPORTUNITY In April 2020, Dubai went into COVID-19 lockdown with many offices and factories experiencing an oversupply of green and roasted coffee with no means of storage. “Nobody planned for COVID. Many businesses were stuck with huge coffee supplies and had more lines of committed coffee coming in. As a result, we saw an increase in businesses using our facilities, so sometimes crisis does bring opportunity,” Bin Sulayem says. Despite an overall softer business climate, more than 1750 companies, to date, joined DMCC in Jamaican cricketer Christopher Gayle visits the DMCC Coffee Centre in November 2020.

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2020, with a noticeable uptake in May and June. “I am in no way satisfied with where we are. There is so much we can still do, and I think that attitude is what got us to 18,000 members – we don’t sit on our laurels, we look at different ways of adding value to attract more business,” Bin Sulayem says. Bin Sulayem describes himself as a government official, and “half a coffee expert”. He says it will take him years to understand the many producing regions and coffee varietals, but he enjoys exploring different origins. In 2017, Bin Sulayem was in Costa Rica with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce to visit its port and free zone. Instead, on arrival, he met with local farmers. At origin, he explained his concept for the DMCC Coffee Centre via translator, and when he finished, was handed business cards from every direction. “I was overwhelmed. I thought, ‘I have a responsibility to these producers, and I hope we can live up to their expectations.’ Then the Coffee Centre became a reality and today we work with a lot of Costa Rican farmers,” he says. The DMCC Coffee Centre has enabled the trade of more than 100 coffee varieties from major growing regions such as Central and South America, but Bin Sulayem admits strong interest in Brazil, Vietnam, Rwanda, Kenya, and the reviving coffee regions of Angola. “I’m fully aware of the impending challenges ahead for the coffee industry – climate change, price crisis – but underneath is a commitment to the farming community. We’re not here to educate the world, but we are here to support the farmers. If it’s not via DMCC, then I’m going to commit to a personal initiative to give back,” he says. For the past 19 years, Bin Sulayem has spearheaded one of the world’s biggest free zones, managing DMCC’s various industries, including gold, diamonds and precious metals. He helped DMCC become the first Arab country to join the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme in 2003 to reduce the flow of conflict diamonds. He launched the world’s largest diamond trading floor and opened the DMCC Tea Centre in 2005 to boost global tea trade through the Emirate. But now, 70 per cent of Bin Sulayem’s time is dedicated to coffee. “It’s likely to stay that way until the Coffee Centre has matured and has good consistency. The truth is, coffee is a fun social commodity and


Image credit: Alexander Gresser Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the DMCC.

I’m still learning. The industry and preferences change,” he says. Bin Sulayem describes Dubai’s coffee culture as a mixture of Arab traditions, Western coffee chains, and advancing specialty coffee shops,

with the like of Tres Marias Coffee in the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Common Grounds at Almas Tower. “Dubai has a big coffee community that’s truly on the world map. We know that coffee connects cultures and brings people together. The next step for our success is continuing to build relationships with customers who share the vision for what DMCC is doing today, and what we’re doing tomorrow,” he says. Already, Bin Sulayem has hosted sporting royalty at the DMCC Coffee Centre, including Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle and basketballers including Donnie Nelson, General Manager of the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association, and the late Kobe Bryant. But it was the visit of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, to the DMCC Coffee Centre in June 2020, that was a turning point for the Coffee Centre. “There had never been an official visit to DMCC or the JLT community, which represents 100,000 people, but His Highness went straight to the DMCC Coffee Centre and fell in love. He was impressed by our efficiency and use of hybrid Brambati roasters that roast six tonnes of green beans an hour,” Bin Sulayem recalls. “After his Highness’s visit, it was clear the Dubai government the Jebel Ali free zone are doing everything they can to make us a success.” But the ultimate sign comes down to DMCC’s members and addressing their needs. “We listen to the commodity market and foresee the opportunities and challenges our members are facing,” Bin Sulayem says. “Next year, I think we’ll see the merger of coffee and cocoa in blends. I think we’ll start to see more demand for access to cold brew bottling equipment, which is something we’re looking into, and we’ll see AI technology become more integrated into businesses. I don’t think we should be scared of it. It will only provide us with more opportunities, but ultimately, we just need to make better coffee, because when we do, people will come.” G C R


FEATURE Brazil vs Vietnam

Kings of the crop

GCR LOOKS AT THE WORLD’S DOMINANT COFFEE PRODUCING SUPERPOWERS TO DISCOVER HOW, AMID A YEAR OF MARKET INSTABILITY, THEY HAVE REMAINED RESILIENT AND DEFIANT AT THE TOP OF THE PRODUCTION CHAIN.

B

razil has long been identified as the world’s largest producer of Arabica coffee, and Vietnam of Robusta coffee, and the two giants show no signs of stopping. According to Brazil’s government statistics agency CONAB’s (Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento) latest estimate, released in September 2020, Brazil produced 61.63 million bags in the 2020-21 harvest from June to September. “Brazil harvested one of the largest coffee crops in its history,” says Professor Luiz Gonzaga de Castro Junior, Coordinator of the Management and Markets Intelligence Centre at the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA). He cites favourable weather conditions in the country’s main production regions of Mina Gerais, Espírito Santo and São Paulo, as the direct link to the country’s high production of Arabica coffee and Conilon/Robusta crops. But the success of Brazil’s reign as a producing giant comes down to several factors, including ideal climate, topography, and soils suitable for coffee growing. “Nature favoured us in this respect, but it would all be for nothing if it weren’t for national research bodies. Brazilian researchers have developed many technologies that have helped boost our production capabilities,” Gonzaga tells Global Coffee Report. “Over the last decades there have been great advances, such as coffee genetic improvement, nutrition, management, mechanisation and post-harvest techniques. All this has made Brazilian crops more productive, more sustainable, and able to produce coffee of the highest quality.” Gonzaga says the country went from an average productivity of seven or eight bags per hectare of Arabica coffee in the early 1990s to 31 bags per hectare in 2020. “Some producers already average more than 50 bags per hectare. Brazil’s main competitors in the international Arabica coffee market harvest less than 18 bags per hectare. That’s a big competitive advantage we have.” Caio Alonso Fonte, Head of Planning at International Coffee Week, Brazil’s tradeshow for

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the specialty coffee market, says a large part of Brazil’s 25 per cent increase in production, and 10 to 15 per cent increase in productivity, is due to its emphasis on quality production. “This year we experienced wonderful quality with different flavours, lots of floral coffees, not common to Brazil’s traditional taste profile. This is a result of post-harvest processing methods,” Fonte says. “Lots of farmers are engaged in fermentation processing to create different aromas and unique flavours, or new types of varietal.” Fonte says producers are listening to the demands of local and international consumers, but quality must come first. “International consumers appreciate mature fermentation flavours with acidity. The local market drinks coffee like water, so there’s more work to be done, but specialty coffee is a maturing market here.” There’s also been a shift in the attitude of producers when it comes to crop management. Before, it was price driven, and now, it’s about improving crop quality to increase income. “With education, producers are


Professor Luiz Gonzaga de Castro Junior of the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil.

committed to embracing technology, farm management, implementing sustainable practices, and learning how to trade better and hedge coffee when the dollar is good. All these things help control costs,” Fonte says.

KING OF ROBUSTA Across the South Pacific Ocean and Vietnam only just started its 2021-21 harvest in November. At time of print, Rabobank estimated a production of 28.8 million bags of (mainly) Robusta coffee, which is a drop of 0.7 million bags from its previous harvest. “Vietnam experienced challenging

weather patterns in 2020,” says Carlos Mera, Senior Commodity Analyst at Rabobank. “From the current harvest, I expect a drop in production volumes following drier than normal conditions during growing season and at the start of flowering, followed by a delayed wet season.” Despite the country’s unstable weather patterns, Jeremy Mpalampa, General Manager of Volcafe Vietnam, says the country has seen “exponential growth” in the production of Robusta over the last two decades, moving from just over one million bags in the 1990s to the 30-million-bag mark it holds today. “There has been a lot of work that has gone into Vietnam’s agricultural industry, thanks to a positive drive by the government’s Doi Moi economic reforms (launched in 1986) to restore crops and boost productivity, especially in the central highlands,” Mpalampa says. On average, Mpalampa says farms produce anywhere from three metric tonnes per hectare to 7.5 metric tonnes. “That volume is phenomenal by any standard. When we go out to these farms, we see trees loaded with beautiful coffee cherries,” Mpalampa says. “Productivity is Caio Alonso Fonte of Brazil’s International remarkable in comparison to some of the Coffee Week says the country’s focus on quality is key to production growth. numbers we’ve seen from other Robusta

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FEATURE Brazil vs Vietnam

for Vietnamese producers, with the market experiencing “softer” local prices. As of 4 December, the price of Robusta was 71.07 US cents per pound according to the International Coffee Organization.

NON-EXISTENT IMPACT

Carlos Mera, Senior Commodity Analyst at Rabobank, says there is no immediate threat to Brazil nor Vietnam’s production capabilities.

production countries.” A large contributing factor, like Brazil, is Vietnam’s focus on research and development of high yielding varietals. “We’re seeing some trees that are 20 years old that could be giving 1.5 to two metric tonnes per hectare, being refreshed with higher yielding plants either through direct replanting or by means of grafting where a scion is attached to an old root stock. You will see almost double the production by just adopting these varieties,” Mpalampa says. What’s more interesting, is that smallholder farms are starting to explore how to reduce the excessive use of water and fertiliser to minimise their carbon footprint. “Irrigation or simple mechanised agriculture is at play in Vietnam, which means that some of the shocks as a result of weather changes are mitigated because farmers can control the amount of water the plant receives. The next step, however, is further research to balance environmental conservation with productivity to make Vietnam’s farming industry sustainable,”Mpalampa says. “I think we can do it. How we can, to some extent, will be through diversified farming systems: optimising water usage, increasing tree and plant cover, and adopting climate smart approaches to plant and soil nutrition.” The ongoing challenge to implement such investments is price. Mapalampa says the last two years have been quite challenging

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While 2020 proved disruptive to much of the world thanks to the spread of COVID-19, Brazil came out of the 2020-21 harvest relatively unaffected. UFLA’s Gonzaga says there was real concern at the start of the year, with fears of a shortage of labour for harvesting due to restrictions of social distancing, and a lack of containers for exports with the decrease of international trade. However, the harvest took place without major problems. “Many crops are mechanised, which drastically reduces the need for workers. In addition, in small properties, the family workforce predominates without the need for hiring. And even where it was necessary to hire workers, coffee growers adapted to the new sanitary measures and got employees,” he says. “As for exports, there was some shortage of containers for a few months, but the situation is already normalised. So much so that the Ministry of Economy reported that November exports were the largest ever recorded in a single month at 4.6 million bags. The previous record was December 2018, at 4.1 million bags.” Vietnam’s supply chain was also unscathed thanks to the majority of harvest taking place between the end of November 2019 and mid-January 2020, with ports still operational. What did surge was Robusta demand, especially in the early half of the year on the back of panic buying and strong retail demand for the at-home segment, predominantly from the United States and European Union. Demand has now stabilised, with Volcafe forecasting about 1.5 per cent growth in Robusta consumption in 2021. “So far, we’ve seen a two-fold increase of soluble exports from Vietnam during the 2019/20 crop season. It goes to show confidence in the sector and that there is a real opportunity for investment in processing and value addition to coffee in Vietnam,” Mpalampa says. Perceiving ongoing demand for instant coffee products across the market, Vietnam has seen the commissioning of three new instant coffee plants during the last two years, with announcements for another two by 2022. As of August 2020, Vietnam also signed the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, meaning a drop or elimination of taxes for soluble coffee from Vietnam into the EU from 3.1 per cent to zero.

FEAR FACTOR On a global scale however, Rabobank’s Mera maintains demand will be the industry’s concern of 2021, following a 2 per cent drop in global demand in 2020. “The world saw a drop in out-of-home consumption, and it continues with countries still experiencing a lockdown so there’s less traffic in coffee shops, people are working reduced hours, therefore demand will be subdued until COVID is no longer a problem in our population. The big challenge then is

Jeremy Mpalampa, General Manager of Volcafe Vietnam.


how to regain that market share and how to regain that presence in the market. We are seeing the same drop in demand in cocoa, over 3 per cent, and in cotton of more than 10 per cent,” he says. “If demand continues to decline and we see an oversupply of coffee, prices will remain low into 2021.” On the production front, Gonzaga says climate remains the biggest, if not the greatest, threat of all. In 2020, rainfall in Brazil was well below the historical average in the South of Minas Gerais, the country’s main producing region. Other regions were also under-optimal rainfall. As such, Gonzaga’s major concern at present is the impact the lack of rainfall will have on the 2021-22 crop. “Producers are apprehensive about the possibility of a much smaller harvest than normal,” he says. However, with current information available, he anticipates the world will consume more than is harvested. “With the fall in Brazilian production, and expectations of an increase in world coffee consumption, driven by the gradual control of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may have this deficit,” Gonzaga says.

IS THE PRICE RIGHT? Based on data the UFLA collected throughout Brazil via the Campo Futuro project, carried out by the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil in partnership with the National Rural Learning Service and the Management and Markets Intelligence Center of the UFLA, coffee prices of recent months have been remunerated for most Brazilian coffee growers. That is, the average revenue from the commercialisation of coffee was higher than the production costs. “One of the factors responsible for this was the appreciation of the international price. Another important factor was the exchange rate devaluation. When the Real depreciates against the US dollar, the remuneration of commodity producers increases. At the same time, production costs increased moderately,” Gonzaga says. “However, it is important to note that many producers have spent the last three years with tight margins, and even losses, in some cases.” To sustain future production, Gonzaga says further government support for the coffee sector must be maintained and expanded, including research, credit programs, and farm management techniques to enable further crop productivity.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS Rabobank’s Mera is confident Brazil’s lucky streak is set to continue despite 2021 being an off-year in the biennial production cycle. “It will still be a pronounced year. Rainfall hasn’t been that great but prices for farmers in Brazilian Real are so good that we expect a rather decent off-cycle for Arabicas, with potentially record Robusta levels,” Mera says. He will eagerly watch Central American countries such as Costa Rica and Colombia to see if they can take a bite out of Brazil’s pristine producing record, but like Vietnam running its own race when it comes to Robusta production, he says there is no immediate threat to Brazil’s title: “Brazil is still the dominant force of production and very clearly so.” G C R


FEATURE Carbon Neutral

A clean commitment

THE COFFEE INDUSTRY IS LOOKING AT ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT, WITH MANY PLAYERS PLEDGING TO REACH NET ZERO EMISSIONS. BUT WHAT DOES IT REALLY TAKE FOR A COFFEE ROASTER TO ACHIEVE CARBON NEUTRALITY?

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aris is famous for many things, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral, a vibrant gourmet food and fine dining culture, and an agreement made in 2016 between 196 countries to reduce or mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions. Coffee is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change, with The Climate Institute in Australia’s projection that land suitable for its production will be halved by 2050 a well-known and shared statistic in the industry. These recognitions of the impact of climate change have pushed coffee roasters and businesses of all shapes and sizes to look at their own emissions, or carbon footprint, and how they can reduce them. Some have even pledged to completely abolish or compensate these emissions. Global coffee chain Starbucks has announced its intentions to become “resource positive” by 2030. Italian roaster illycaffé intends to be carbon neutral by its centennial in 2033. Lavazza joined the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge to curtail greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Another such company that has set a sooner target is Nespresso. In September, the Swissbased coffee capsule pioneer announced that every cup of Nespresso coffee will be carbon

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neutral by 2022. Julie Reneau, Sustainability Strategy Manager at Nespresso tells Global Coffee Report the announcement builds on decades of work from the company to improve its sustainability performance. “Our promise to consumers is to deliver a high-quality coffee revealing aroma profiles from the terroir where these coffees are grown. The only way to fulfill this promise, is to build a resilient supply chain, overcoming all the challenges ahead of us,” Reneau says. “Climate change is already affecting farming communities and is now broadly considered as the biggest challenge facing


humanity. We are entering a decisive decade where everyone needs to act in a more accelerated way. Nespresso has fortunately started the transition over the past decade and is ready for acceleration.” Since 2017, Nespresso has been carbon neutral within its own business operations, a long-standing carbon reduction effort across its value chain. Nespresso has then inset the remaining emissions of its operational scope, compensating carbon with actions within the value chain. This involved Nespresso planting native trees in the coffee regions where it sources its coffee. Five million native trees have been planted since 2014 and the company advocates for this “virtuous compensation” approach through the International Platform for Insetting. “For the last seven years, we’ve leveraged the capabilities of farmers to integrate native Julie Reneau is the Sustainability Strategy Manager at Nespresso. trees which can sequester carbon on the farmland with their coffee. These ‘carbon sinks’ absorb carbon from the atmosphere into the biomass and into the soil,” Reneau says. “These regenerative agricultural models, like agroforestry, prove to be the best way to adapt smallholders to climate change as they deliver many other benefits such as temperature regulation, soil, and water conservation.” With the global carbon neutrality announcement, the company aims at scaling its scope of actions and cover the remaining emissions generated by the activities from farm to end of life. “You have to look at your product lifecycle and the impact at each of its stages – green coffee supply, aluminium sourcing, cardboard or paper production, manufacturing machines, roasting coffee, distribution, usage, and its end of life when the consumer recycles the machine or capsule,” Reneau says. “Many people would assume for a company like Nespresso, most of these emissions would come from the packaging, transport, and processing, but according to life cycle assessments roughly a third is from the home consumption phase and another 30 per cent is due to green coffee supply.” Nespresso has taken many steps to mitigate these carbon emissions and environmental impact. This starts with Nespresso’s AAA Sustainable Quality Program, through which 95 per cent of its volume is sourced. Producers who are part of the sourcing program must employ crucial sustainable coffee farming and zero deforestation practices. The business has also procured renewable electricity for its three factories and almost a third of its boutique network, as of 2019. The eco-design of its capsules, using 80 per cent recycled aluminium, and the energy efficiency of the machines have also contributed to a 23 per cent carbon footprint reduction per cup versus 2009. Nespresso intends to have its carbon neutrality certified by a third-party organisation. “An external endorsement of our carbon neutrality will reassure the consumers that by drinking a Nespresso coffee, there is no harm to the climate” Reneau says. “Our climate journey is still very much about addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. What has changed is the speed and scale of our efforts particularly the one related to the transition towards a regenerative coffee agriculture.”

As of September 2020, the private label focused Coind Group is Italy’s first coffee business to receive carbon neutral certification from the Dutch Climate Neutral Group. Valentina Pareschi, Communication Manager at Coind, says achieving the certification was a simple process. “You measure your emissions, then you compensate for them with an amount of money paid to the Climate Neutral Group, which uses them for environmental activities. For example, we chose a reforestation project in Brazil, where you plant as many trees as necessary to compensate for your carbon emissions,” Pareschi says. “From one side, you compensate straight away for the carbon emissions of your production. From the other, as a company, you’re pushed to find solutions to reduce your emissions because you’re paying a clear price for them.” Measuring its emissions has made it possible for Coind to identify where in its operations it can reduce its carbon footprint. An immediate area for improvement the group identified, is logistics. “We realised we can improve the way we transport coffee and optimise shipments. In this way, you use less tracks to transport your goods and this improve the carbon emissions of your transport overall,” Pareschi says. “Improving our carbon emissions will be a focus for 2021 but having the certification Nespresso aims to achieve net Nespresso Löfbergs reports aimsbyto on make its progress every cup of zero emissions 2023. in an its coffee annual carbon sustainability neutral by report. 2023.

SINKING CARBON Carbon neutral certification enables a business to have their footprint and environmental impact measured and verified by an impartial third party.

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FEATURE Carbon Neutral

Coind is the first private label coffee roaster in Italy to receive carbon neutral certification.

businesses looking to go carbon neutral is having the scale to manage it. “If you are a smaller roaster, it’s not so easy to start with such a certification. Your company needs to have a structure behind it to manage this kind of certification,” she says. Regardless, Pareschi adds that certification or not, it’s imperative the industry takes action against climate change. “Reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment will be a challenge not only for coffee roasters, but all companies and people in the next few years.”

ANOTHER WAY

already in effect means we can make a positive impact in the meantime.” While Coind ultimately implemented carbon neutral certification to improve its impact on the environment, Pareschi says strong demand from the market for environmentally sustainable solutions encouraged the roaster to take the step. “For instance, we’ve been working with Coop, one of the biggest retailers in Italy, since our very beginning. Coop has always been conscious of the environment and looks for eco-friendly solutions. Because we’ve worked with them for a long time, it’s always encourages us to look for these kinds of solutions too,” she says. “As a private label company, certification is a big competitive advantage because we can offer this solution to a client for their own coffee brand. Even though we only rolled out the certification in September, a lot of international companies are already contacting us asking about carbon neutral coffee.” Numerous carbon neutral certifications bodies, like Climate Active, Bonsucro, and the Carbon Reduction Institute, use offset programs similar to Climate Neutral Group to compensate for a business’s carbon emissions. While some focus on reforestation efforts like Coind has embraced, other options include investing money in renewable energy projects. Pareschi says the largest hurdle for coffee

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While some businesses see carbon offset programs as a path to quickly balancing out their carbon emissions, the Löfbergs Group in Sweden has taken a different approach. “We looked into [carbon neutral certifications and offsets] many years ago, and offer this to some of our business partners, but made the decision not to apply it across the whole business,” says Eva Eriksson, Head of Sustainability at Löfbergs. “It’s a very good initiative, but we feel you can’t compensate for ‘black’ fossil-fuelled carbon emissions with ‘green’ energy. When we compensate, it will be in other areas, like solar panels or wind power, that provide small coffee farmers with cleaner energy.” When Löfbergs does purchase carbon credits, it is through the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism. Löfbergs began examining its environmental footprint in the 1990s, starting with energy efficiency measures at its Swedish roastery. The roaster’s production volumes have doubled since then, while electricity usage has remained the same. Until recently, 30 per cent of the gas it used for roasting at its Karlstad factory was biopropane. This will be scaled up to 100 per cent in 2021. In 2011, Löfbergs joined the Haga Initiative, a business network or European companies committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Using its 2005 performance as a baseline, Löfbergs goal was to reduce its own emissions by 40 per cent by 2020. It reached this in 2018, and exceeded it in 2019, with emissions cut by 50 per cent. By 2030, the roaster strives to use 100 per cent renewable resources and reduce its emissions to net zero. “Under our new target, we will measure our impact from transport to packing material to coffee cultivation. Almost 90 per cent of emissions in the value chain come from the cultivation of coffee, so that is a big focus for us,” Eriksson says. “If you don’t take care of the processed water from washed coffee – which could create emissions of ethane and nitrous dioxide, two very powerful greenhouse gases – you can have a very high climate impact. Fertilisers are another big contributor of emissions at the farm level. Through development Eva Eriksson is the Head of projects we are also helping farmers Sustainability at Löfbergs. compost that wastewater and use its


energy for good.” Eriksson says natural processed coffees lack as obvious of a footprint, but are often grown monoculturally and lack biodiversity, impacting their sustainability in the long run. Löfbergs works with certification programs like Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and Organic to ensure its coffee is produced accountably and sustainably. As a member of the International Coffee Partners, Löfbergs helped launch the Coffee & Climate toolbox, designed to provide farmers with the tools and information to fight climate change. Like with Nespresso’s activities, agroforestry will play a key role in helping farmers adapt while improving biodiversity. “Climate change already affects coffee farmers very much, in very different ways in different parts of the world, so most of the tools are about helping coffee farmers with adaption measures,” Löfbergs reports on its progress in an annual sustainability report. Eriksson says. “Cultivating coffee with other crops is better for farmers and the climate in the long run. Shade trees provide a more robust ecosystem for cultivation that can even act as a buffer and protection from diseases and pests.” Regardless of how a coffee business approaches mitigating its carbon footprint, Eriksson says now is the time to act. “It’s very important for the planet that we reduce our emissions, and this is becoming relevant to more and more people,” she says. “That is also something we address in our circular

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that

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transformation with the clear-cut purpose of eliminating all waste related to coffee. “It’s not easy, but we need to take into consideration things like climate change and biodiversity. Hopefully, we [the coffee industry and others] can be better.” G C R

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f re s h b re w e d the integrated extraction system

Continuous - Automated

flavourtech.com


ORIGIN Uganda

Uganda’s robust plans UGANDA MAY BE AFRICA’S LARGEST COFFEE EXPORTER, BUT WITH AN AMBITIOUS PLAN TO INCREASE ITS PRODUCTION AND QUALITY, THE COUNTRY IS NOT STOPPING THERE.

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Dr Emmanuel Iyamulemye Niyibigira, Managing Director of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), says this relatively high altitude for Robusta production, combined with unique soils and farming systems, give Ugandan Robusta an unmatched level of quality. “Uganda is sometimes thought of as a ‘Robusta country’, but that mindset is changing because people are realising that our Robusta coffee is as good as other countries’ Arabica,”

Image credit: Kyagalanyi

any people, even outside the industry, recognise Ethiopia as the birthplace of Arabica coffee, but few would identify the origin of its resilient and stronger cousin, Robusta coffee. While Vietnam is the largest producer of Robusta, with Brazil and Indonesia trailing behind, it’s actually the fourth largest producer of the crop that might lay claim to its origin: Uganda. Robusta makes up about 80 per cent of the coffee produced in Uganda, with Arabica introduced into the country through Malawi in the 1920s. Arabica is grown mainly in the nation’s highland areas in the east, west, and south-east. Robusta flourishes in the country’s central plateau, where altitudes range from 1000 to 1500 metres above sea level.

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SMALLHOLDERS REIGN SUPREME Farming households in Uganda hold an average plot size of less than one acre. Dr Anneke Fermont, Regional Sustainability Manager for coffee exporter Kyagalanyi Coffee – the in-country representative of Volcafe – calls coffee a “smallholder crop” in Uganda. “We don’t really have the coffee estates you’d see in Kenya or Tanzania. It’s about 95 per cent smallholder production,” Fermont says. “These smallholder farmer systems, which are very agroforestry focused and biodiverse, is part of what’s special about Uganda. It also means you’re working with a lot of individual farmers, so making any kind of change takes a lot of time, investment, and courage.” Kyagalanyi works directly with 26,000 households across Uganda, helping to improve quality, access to certifications, and farming, social, and environmental practices. Farmers benefit from better prices, better Producers harvesting yields, and more sustainable farming systems. ripe red coffee cherries. “Certification is quite important in the Arabica sector. Around 15 per cent of Arabica exports from Uganda are certified, for Kyagalanyi it’s closer to 20 to 25 per cent,” Fermont says. “In the Robusta sector, it’s difficult for a certification scheme to meet economic ends for a smallholder farmer. But our newest effort is focusing on slightly larger Robusta farmers, with three or four acres, where you can buy a little more coffee per farmer, which makes it more sustainable to run these operations.” Overall, Fermont sees low yields as the biggest constraint on Uganda’s coffee industry. “Farmers are earning quite limited amounts of money from their coffee fields. Most don’t have space to expand, so the only way they can earn more money is by improving productivity,” she says. “The Ugandan sector is fully liberalised, which is really good because it gives farmers access to a wider market, and they receive a A majority of producers in Uganda higher portion of the Freight on Board price than, are smallholder coffee farmers. for instance, a Kenyan or Tanzanian farmer. On the other hand, it also means that farmers are not organised, which makes it difficult to get those services to them.” Fermont predicts worsening climate change will not deal Ugandan farmers as harsh a blow as Central and South American producers. However, it could create a struggle with erratic rainfall and increased risk of pest and disease. “Anything you do to improve productivity will build resilience of your farming systems to climate change,” she says. The Ugandan government is also encouraging producers, especially in Arabica growing areas, to plant shade trees that protect their crops. To overcome issues with market fragmentation, Kyagalanyi Coffee has entered new regions to expand its direct support of the producers. “We have started working in the Rwenzori Mountains [in southwest Uganda], a new area for us. Farmers there are very remote, and previously, were only able to sell their coffee to middlemen Image credit: UCDA

Image credit: UCDA

Dr Iyamulemye tells Global Coffee Report. As the nation’s biggest agricultural commodity, coffee production plays a major role in Ugandan economy and society. UCDA estimates that up to 1.7 million households rely on coffee production for their income, about 40 per cent of which are female-lead. This reflects approximately 42 per cent of farming households in Uganda. Iyamulemye says this prominence has made growing the coffee industry a key focus of the government since the turn of the millennium, following several decades of hardship. “We had a peak in exports in 1970, around 3.5 million [60-kilogram] bags, then it went down again for two factors,” he says. “We had a coffee price crisis that depressed production and farmers, who started growing other crops like cocoa. In the 1990s, there was also a devastating [coffee wilt] disease that hit our Robusta coffee plants and wiped out nearly half the tree population. Production fell to as low as two million bags per year.” It’s estimated coffee wilt disease cost Uganda accumulated losses of US$580 million between 1997 and 2007. Government funding and support from the European Union to develop disease resistant varieties, and distribute free seedlings to farmers, has helped the country fight coffee wilt disease. “With that, we saw a shift in production. It went from 2.5 million bags to 4.2 million.

It stagnated there for a year then jumped to 4.7 million. We’re now at 5.1 million bags exportable product [in Coffee Year 2019/2020],” Iyamulemye says.

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Image credit: Kyagalanyi

ORIGIN Uganda

CQI tasters graded Ugandan coffee as the third best coffee globally.

Image credit: Kyagalanyi

at very low prices,” Fermont says. “Moving into that area, building washing stations, and buying high-quality coffees, you can really drive up prices quite quickly, which has a major impact on the income of those smallholder farmers.” Another avenue for growth Fermont sees for the Ugandan industry is rising demand and recognition in the specialty and single origin market. “Uganda is a very diverse country, with different types of soil and climates that give rise to a lot of different qualities and types of coffee. The diversity of Uganda’s coffees is celebrated in Uganda, but to the rest of the world, it’s something still to be discovered,” she says. “That is changing, with specialty roasters becoming interested in Uganda and more single origins coming out. Nespresso, for example, with its Reviving Origins project in collaboration with Kyagalanyi, puts Uganda on the map.” Nespresso released its Amaga awe Uganda, “Hope for Uganda”, capsules in May 2020, providing the origin with direct exposure to a global consumer base. “The quality of Ugandan coffee has dramatically improved over the past 10 to 15 years. Our best Arabica coffees are competing with Kenyans in terms of quality while still being relatively cheap,” Fermont says. She adds that 1229 professional tasters from the Coffee Quality Institute have confirmed this view, grading Uganda as having the third best coffee globally based on harvests between 2010 and 2018. “Uganda should really take advantage of the fact we have so many smallholder farmers trying to create a livelihood for themselves, compared to other coffee countries with bigger farms. Uganda can sell itself with all these stories more than it has done in the past.”

LAYING OUT A PLAN Having so many smallholders in the country, however, can pose challenges when it comes to sharing the “story” behind coffee from Uganda.

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Kyagalanyi is one of Uganda’s largest coffee exporters.

“A daily purchase from one of our washing stations easily comes from 200 different farmers. That makes it difficult to put a QR code with information about the farmer on the coffee,” Fermont says. The Ugandan Government has also foreseen this becoming a problem and has begun action to streamline the industry. A National Coffee Bill was introduced in 2018, providing greater transparency and regulation of the market. Previously, the UCDA’s reach only covered off-farm activities like marketing and processing, leaving on-farm activities such as planting materials, nurseries, harvesting, and post-harvesting largely unregulated. The National Coffee Bill will require coffee farmers to register with the UCDA, so the authority can capture details of the size of land, number of coffee trees, and particulars of farmers, coffee buyers, sellers, and nursery bed operators. Iyamulemye says the National Coffee Bill addresses a gap in regulation at farm level. “From the proper selection of highproductive seeds to quality control over planting, harvest, and post-harvest activities, we believe the new law is going to greatly impact the quality of production and productivity,” Iyamulemye says. The UCDA has also been tasked with growing consumption in Uganda, including the training and education of baristas and coffee professionals. Due to British colonisation in


Image credit: UCDA

the world,” Iyamulemye says. the 1800s, Uganda has always focused on exporting its coffee over drinking it. But coffee shops have begun to spring up across Uganda, from its capital Kampala out to smaller towns and trading “Our ambition is to be a global leader in the centres across the country. quality of coffee, exports of value-added coffee, “If we drink more coffee, it will create more jobs and keep more revenue in the country,” and domestically, for coffee to have its place as Iyamulemye says. an employer for the country, creating more jobs “The drive is to add value and another aspect of this is variation. We’ve seen a few roasters start and income for households.” G C R up, which is very good for the country, because we can start exporting processed coffee, instant coffee, and roast and ground coffee as well as green beans.” A university student undergoing These initiatives are all part of Uganda’s Coffee Roadmap, a strategy the UCDA training as a barista. government set up in 2015 to increase coffee value and production, with the goal of producing 20 million bags annually by 2025 to 2030. Other initiatives of the Coffee Roadmap include building structured demand through country-to-country deals, especially with growing markets like China, organising farmers in organisations and businesses entities, and branding Ugandan coffee for greater recognition and association. “Why are countries like Colombia and Guatemala famous for coffee when it originates from places like Uganda? With a brand, we can say ‘this is a coffee from Uganda, we stand by these values’,” Iyamulemye says. Despite being Africa’s biggest exporter of green coffee, Uganda ranks eighth overall. Iyamulemye says this demonstrates the room Uganda has to grow on a global scale. “We don’t feel we are doing much by saying we are the biggest coffee exporter in Africa, because we’re not even near the maximum potential we could be. Coffee is a global commodity, we want to be among the top three exporters of


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FEATURE ICO

Pieces fall in place

LEADING COFFEE ROASTERS AND TRADERS HAVE LAID OUT A SHARED VISION AND ROADMAP WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COFFEE ORGANIZATION ON HOW TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY OF THE COFFEE INDUSTRY.

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OVID-19 has been a spanner in the works of the global economy and the coffee sector isn’t immune. While many venues, cafés, and roasters lost business or closed their doors on the consumption end of the coffee supply chain, a large number or coffee producers were in a bad economic position before the pandemic even began. Since late 2016/early 2017, the coffee industry has struggled through a “price crisis”, where commodity market prices have largely sat below the cost of production. In September that year, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) committed to promoting dialogue among all stakeholders in the coffee value chain to ensure the economic sustainability of the coffee producers. José Sette, Executive Director of the ICO, tells Global Coffee Report collaborative action will be necessary to achieve industry-wide results. “The private sector already does quite a lot on an independent basis. Many companies, both roasters and traders, have programs to support farmers or their suppliers, but the truth is, these programs only have a limited reach,” Sette says. “We want to go beyond what these worthwhile initiatives can achieve, find ways to support

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the more than 120 million people that depend on coffee growing for their livelihoods, and tackle some of these larger collective problems with both the public and private sectors.” Over 2019 and 2020, the ICO has connected with key players in the coffee industry and structured this type of dialogue. At its first CEO and Global Leaders Forum in September 2019, 12 leading coffee roasters and traders signed the London Declaration, committing to improving the economic sustainability of coffee production and the forming of a publicprivate sector taskforce. These signatories include ECOM Trading, illycaffé, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Lavazza, Mercon, Nestlé, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe,


Olam, Starbucks, Sucafina, Tchibo, and Volcafe. José Sette is the Executive “These very important companies have signed up and agreed to participate Director of the ICO. in our work and it gives weight and credibility to the whole process. We are very grateful to them, but know we this is only the beginning and there is a long way to go,” Sette says. “Global Coffee Platform and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge have also been important partners for us. They are multi-stakeholder initiatives and have really spread the word throughout the private sector.” At the second CEO and Global Leaders Forum in September 2020, held virtually due to COVID-19, this pledge was taken to the next level. A communiqué was released, and endorsed by the International Coffee Council in October, detailing a shared vision and roadmap towards making the economic sustainability of coffee a reality. “The communiqué is a signal of everybody’s willingness to work together and move forward. Now, we hope to translate some of these nice thoughts and words into concrete action,” Sette says. “The roadmap, from 2020 to 2030, looks to implement a variety of actions to achieve a more prosperous coffee sector, especially for smallholder farmers.” A core part of this roadmap will be identifying the living income of smallholder producers in different regions. The roadmap’s goal is for 80 per cent of ICO member producing counties to reach prosperity by 2025 and 100 per cent by 2030. This will not to sustainable levels. begin with direct support to living income pilot projects in four to six producing countries. “In late-November, early-December, we “It’s no use having a supply chain as efficient as we see in coffee, when – some would say – it is heard news about possible impacts on the so efficient that the ‘little guy’ actually producing the coffee is Arabica crop from the drought in Brazil and hurricanes in Central America. These kinds squeezed so tight they do not receive adequate remuneration for their work,” Sette says. of events tend to be supportive of prices,” “Providing farmers with a prosperous income is at the Sette says. basis of all this work.” “My evaluation is there is not much Sette says this one of several technical workstreams downside to prices, and if the impact on the crop is significant, we might see some price outlined in the communiqué currently in progress. These increases, mainly in Arabica coffee.” technical workstreams are intended to go beyond “quick fixes” and address the systemic issues Much of the ICO’s analysis of the coffee contributing to the price crisis. Another, for example, is a partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute value chain from last year – through COVID-19 to develop a warning system that predicts upcoming market volatility and instability. and in relation to prices – will be published “For many of the other actions, we need resources, and mobilising those is an important part in its 2020 Coffee Development Report. The of the next few months’ work for us,” Sette says. ICO intends to release the second edition of its flagship economic publication in January. “We will also work to better address how to directly involve more growers’ associations, alongside the governments the ICO represents and large private sector companies we have “It’s interesting work and will add to the discussion on all of these factors,” Sette says. onboard. This is a big challenge because these are usually structured on a national level, so we have to reach out individually in every country.” He adds the ICO’s work and consultation over the last two years has made it clear that the coffee sector is facing challenges beyond 2020 HINDSIGHT In 2020, uncertainty over supply problems and consumption declines due to COVID-19 dealt the capacity of either the public or private coffee farmers with fluctuating and volatile prices. However, even at their high points, Sette says sector to deal with on their own. it meant little benefit to producers. “We have to work together and this is “Coffee prices were very volatile at the beginning of the pandemic, going up and down very where the ICO can play an important part as fast. Since then, the volatility has dropped somewhat, but in truth, the prices were still operating an honest broker where all parties can come in the same range they’ve been in over the last couple of years,” Sette says. together,” Sette says. “Many of the issues we are dealing with “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation, with impacts on both production/supply and consumption/demand. In terms of production, the coffee sector has shown its resilience and are deep seated, structural problems. There’s ability to adapt. The question is much more on the impact on demand – I see several reports that no one simple solution and it will take time. expect the out-of-home segment to not fully recover until 2022.” We have to be realistic and the timeframe is Despite this, Sette believes coffee prices could see an uptake in the near future, even if it’s years, not months.” G C R

JA N UA R Y /FE B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 | GCR

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WHILE 2020 PROVED NO CRYSTAL BALL IS ACCURATE, GCR INVITES INDUSTRY LEADERS TO SHARE THEIR HOPES, AMBITIONS, AND PREDICTIONS FOR 2021, IN WHAT IS LIKELY TO BE A DEFINING YEAR FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COFFEE MARKET.

ANNETTE PENSEL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GLOBAL COFFEE PLATFORM

2021 is a year with hope for change – hope that the soon-available vaccines will change the dynamics of the global pandemic and hope that governments use the unique chance to boldly align recovery plans and policies with climate science. This would help unlock climate solutions in new ways and achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. And for the coffee sector, there is hope that the younger generations will help propel the transformation of our sector to a sustainable, thriving, and resilient future. “Sustainability” has never before been so noticeable in our lives, and while we see increasing concerns in our sector about the lack of interest in coffee farming by the younger generation, we know that young people really care about social and environmental issues. Companies are increasingly embracing sustainability as it is becoming a license to operate. And discussions around due diligence legislation are advancing, for example in Europe.

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However, even with this hopeful outlook, we need to address the systemic issues: the gap between countries with efficient, profitable coffee production systems and supply chains, and those with less efficient and profitable ones, has been increasing. With the persistent low coffee price levels and additional impact from the pandemic, the livelihoods of millions of coffee farming families will be affected even more. This development aggravates the high risk of losing origin diversity if our sector continues with business as usual. What we need now is urgency. We need to turn the international talks about shared responsibility into more powerful action that drives sustainability with clear benefits for coffee farming communities. We must find locally owned, scalable solutions to the economic viability of sustainable coffee farming and farmers’ prosperity amid changing climatic conditions to make coffee growing an attractive option for the next generations. It is time to include economic prosperity and well-being of coffee farmers not only in corporate sustainability strategies but also in procurement strategies.

While in many coffee producing countries, the challenges of sustainability and profitability continue to mount, the good news is that we need not start from scratch. There is not only hope, but already results. Through the likes of GCP’s Collective Action Initiatives, stakeholders from across the value chain and public sectors are proving that collaboration with urgency is not only possible, but already impactful. It is through leveraging each other’s strengths, that we have a real shot at a thriving and sustainable coffee sector.


CAMILA ESCOBAR PRESIDENT, JUAN VALDEZ

As a brand, we see 2021 with optimism, despite the great uncertainty that has characterised 2020. We look forward to a new year that will bring us closer to the excellent performance we saw in 2019. During 2020, Juan Valdez took every opportunity to develop its sales channels. In the international market, we reached new countries and markets. We also deepened national opportunities with a recovery of instore sales of close to 75 per cent. In the mass consumption channel, we supplied coffee to the at-home market and strengthened digital channels with the launch of our app for home deliveries. Our strategic plans are still in place and we trust in the power, the capacity, and the opportunities that our company has. The uncertainty continues, but we are no longer afraid of it, since we have structured action plans to adjust to either a continuous recovery, or possible peaks and valleys that will surely come. We see 2021 with growth in international channels, as well as in mass consumption channels and surely a beginning of sales recovery to the levels we had in 2019. Juan Valdez’s main strategic objective for

SCOTT FORD

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WESTROCK COFFEE COMPANY Prognostications and most professional prognosticators are ultimately doomed by reality. This, we all recognise as old news. That said, and for the sake of fun, I will nonetheless take a couple of wild guesses about what might be ahead of us in the new year. First, COVID-19 will run its course soon enough, but its impact on the capital structure health of many in the food service aligned roasting community will be felt for several years. We are therefore likely to see several participants forced to recapitalise, consolidate, significantly scale back, or close shop. Twenty-thirty per cent reductions in demand in a thin margin, commodity

the coming years is to generate shared value for coffee growers, shareholders, consumers, workers, and suppliers. To achieve this goal, the company has focused on three main focuses. 1. We will continue to strengthen our brand through the experience of our consumers, enhancing our communication platforms, making a continuous commitment to innovation, and with our loyalty plan “Amigos Juan Valdez”.

processing business will be more than many can overcome. That said, the survivors will fill the void and the remaining competitors will be leaner, tougher, and more price disciplined than they have been in decades. Secondly, now that coffee can be digitally traced from end product retail container all the way back to the farmer – including the date and quantity purchased, coffee quality, price paid, and details of the individual farmer duly recorded – the largest retailers of coffee will soon insist that this information be provided to them in order for the product to be granted shelf space. While this might not happen in 2021 specifically, I imagine that we will see great strides in this direction over the coming year. What exactly will happen in 2021 is a mystery, but what we do know is that the year will be full of both positive and negative

2. The consolidation in the Colombian market is the most important for the company. Currently, we have a strong position nationally, which we must continue to solidify. At the moment, we are ensuring our coffee shops have profitable growth, and are exponentially expanding our presence in the mass consumption channel. Additionally, we must accelerate our digital channels’ development and continue to mature nontraditional channels for the brand. 3. The international market has great potential for Juan Valdez. We want to reach new cultures and enhance our presence in countries where our brand already has some awareness. We aim to expand in Latin America, North America and Mexico, and continue developing the e-commerce channel for the main markets. In addition, we must keep focused on our business transformation, which helps us achieve our goals, as well as our strategic objective. This cross-cutting process includes: - Implementation of digital matters in diferent processes. - Adoption and internalisation of the new corporate culture that ensures talent and capacities to execute the company’s strategy. - Integration of the sustainability model in our business that seeks to fulfill our goal of becoming a company that creates shared value for the various stakeholders we have.

surprises, as is every year. How we handle these issues, good and bad, will determine the quality of the year we actually experience.

JA N UA R Y /FE B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 | GCR

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MARCO PADELLI

In fact, together with the growth of the single-serve segment, following years of a falloff in demand, there have been interesting signs of a recovery in the coffee beans and ground coffee segments. Gruppo Gimoka was among the first companies to respond to this request by presenting innovative proposals in terms of soft pack packaging and blends to meet emerging consumer needs. Our group has decided to seize this array of challenges by offering the most comprehensive range of product required worldwide and covering all types of packaging systems, besides controlling the complete supply chain. Today,

Gruppo Gimoka is increasingly able to offer solutions for all coffee categories, thanks to the know-how it has acquired and its bold investment plan that has led to an industrial fleet of more than 40 highly automated production lines. All this, together with an assortment of more than 120 different blends, allows us to offer solutions that are not only competitive, but satisfy high-quality standards. The process of consolidating grocery distribution has led us to develop different business proposals in order to satisfy our partners’ requirements by adjusting our current business models (private labels, co-packing and brand) in order to respond more effectively to global challenges. The coffee market is characterised by both local specifications and cross-continental dynamics. We must develop innovative market approaches that integrate local requirements with more international dynamics, efficiency and competitiveness through diversity to tackle these new scenarios. The omnichannel approach adopted by Gruppo Gimoka acquires increasingly greater strategic value.

is still uncertain. As I write, London, where the International Coffee Organization (ICO) is located, has just entered its second lockdown. However, the last few days have brought promising news about new vaccines. Most projections are that reliable vaccines should become widely available by the second half of 2021 at earliest. At the most basic level, the coffee value chain has shown a certain resilience, in that the flow of product remained quite smooth and no significant shortages occurred. We must recognise the enormous efforts made by the governments of coffee-producing countries to establish social safety nets, despite limited resources. Safety protocols were quickly established and coffee was declared an essential economic activity in many countries, thus limiting the impact of movement restrictions. Coffee production has held up well under challenging conditions. We can expect this tendency to continue in 2021. Let’s look at the demand-side. ICO preliminary estimates indicate that coffee consumption suffered a 0.9 per cent drop in coffee year 2019-20. For sure, coffee is not a

staple food, however, millions of consumers showed that, even during a pandemic, a good cup of coffee is like a friend that we want to meet every day. We are confident that coffee consumption will rebound to its historic growth rate of more than 2 per cent, but the timing is uncertain. Analysts are calling 2021 a “Year of Renewal”, but a full recovery can only be expected in 2022. On top of all this, we also have a joker in the pack: the climate. After the recent dry spell, which may already have reduced the next crop, all eyes are on rainfall in the coffee-growing regions of Brazil. At the same time, Central America has been buffeted by two hurricanes in succession – although crop losses appear to have been limited so far, damage to logistics may be a significant challenge to transporting the beans from growing regions. Let us hope that all these factors combine in a way that brings higher prices to growers, who were already caught in an enduring price crisis when the pandemic arrived. Whatever happens, let’s hope that the upcoming year will not spring any more surprises like 2020 did.

CHIEF GLOBAL BUSINESS OFFICER, GRUPPO GIMOKA The coffee sector is experiencing considerable economic, environmental and structural changes, which have been accelerated by the spread of COVID-19. On the one hand, the ongoing pandemic is having a huge impact, particularly on coffee roasters whose offer is focused mainly on the away-from-home sector. At the same time, competitive pressure on the medium price range is increasing to safeguard production volumes. These dynamics are complemented by consolidation processes implemented by some groups which, besides growing organically, are also beginning to acquire small/medium-sized coffee roasters that are unable to bear the out-of-home market decline. Even in times of crisis, you can grasp opportunities arising from different market segmentations, new distribution channels, and product line proposals.

JOSÉ SETTE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL COFFEE ORGANIZATION As if 2020 did not already put me off from prognosticating forever, the end of the year fast approached and GCR magazine wanted to know what will happen in 2021. Of course, much will depend on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, which

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CRISTINA MADRIÑAN GENERAL MANAGER, BUENCAFÉ

The world is in continuous evolution. Today’s challenges invite us to strengthen a flexible and adaptable growth mindset and a determined will to act for the good of humankind. Values such as empathy, solidarity and organisational resilience are put at the top of the business agendas. Nothing different happens in the coffee industry. Our energy is focused on capitalising on the enormous learnings of a challenging year. We analyse changing dynamics and future-bearing events to keep up with a permanently evolving market’s requirements. The following are some global trends I believe will make an impact in 2021. Consumption place has changed: Remote work will continue and therefore increasing coffee consumption at home, which, along with a search for emotional and functional attributes, opens up immense possibilities for soluble coffee. People are experimenting with new, increasingly premium products. In line with the search for better quality, Buencafé

KAMAL BENGOUGAM GROUP COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, EVERSYS

I think the uncertainty around COVID-19 will continue to affect our world in 2021. Political and economic attitudes and decisions will not be stable as our reality evolves at a slow pace. Global political turmoil will continue to dominate the agenda. The axis of power could shift towards the East, potentially creating some critical tensions in most regions. The economical impact of COVID-19 will begin to make a strong impact on global economies. Increases in unemployment and the demise of many businesses will put additional burdens on already fragile national budgets. The rise of nationalism will also challenge the travel industry as well as the ‘global village’ perspective, creating smaller markets and therefore inhibiting economic growth. Specific to our industry, I predict the Ho.Re.Ca market will continue to be challenged as the travel industry will be limited and

launched a new line of products made through its Sensoria by Buencafé technology, which preserves the most delicate flavour and aroma of fresh Colombian coffee, without losing the convenience of an instant. E-commerce: The pandemic decisively accelerated the use of digital platforms and e-commerce We have launched an ambitious digital transformation to be a customer-focused company. We decisively promote continuous innovation processes in order to be at the social restrictions maintained. Growth will come through innovation, being flexible and imaginative enough to adapt to a ‘new reality’ as opposed to a return to ‘old ways’. Restaurants and hotels will return to work on lower customer footprints. This will lead to a rise in retail pricing and put pressure on people’s pockets and access to social transactions. Coffee shops will need to prioritise profitability, enact stronger financial procedures, re-imagine their value proposition, introduce greater technology, and reduce labour costs. We will see the emergence of bespoke customisation with the ability to provide customers with tailored equipment and integrated controls. Competitive differentiation will be important as the market shrinks and competition increases. The emphasis will be on values. Sustainability, environmental protection, emotional intelligence and engagement will become a core part of business thinking. At Eversys, innovation is and has always been a fundamental value. We view this paradigm shift as an opportunity to provide customers

forefront. In 2021 online sales will continue reaching new devotees, and the industry must get ready and transform rapidly. Evolution and growth of private labels: Private labels have reinvented themselves during the pandemic and shown competitive strength. Private labels are one of Buencafé’s main businesses, and we support our customers by offering timely delivery and availability of all our installed capacity. In 2021, we will continue strengthening innovation in labels, packaging and products. Conscious consumption: Consumers are increasingly conscious, responsible, and interested in sustainability and traceability. Our highest purpose is: Living optimism as a transformation force to create sustainable value in the coffee world. It will continue as our business strategy compass. Buencafé is a non-profit company whose earnings are 100 per cent reinvested in Colombian coffee growers. This makes us feel very proud. Pursuing a permanent balance of the economic, social and environmental dimensions, and leaving a positive mark, is our greatest daily motivation.

with more compelling, bespoke equipment – machines designed and fit for purpose. We will continue developing and improving our products to reflect our new reality. Quality will be maintained, connectivity enhanced, and design and functionality will be adapted to what customers really need and want. We will evolve towards digital platforms yet keep people at the centre of our thinking. We will aim for continued and intelligent growth, and the coffee will always taste great, anywhere, anytime.

JA N UA R Y /FE B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 | GCR

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JENNIFER “VERN” LONG

on coffee. On a brighter note, many of these same countries do have the basic systems in place to enable coffee agricultural growth with right-sized investments. As economist Jeffrey Sachs points out in The Earth Institute Coffee Report, under a business-as-usual pathway, origin production consolidation is likely to continue. This will result in less variety in origins, tastes, and quality, with a potential dampening effect

on demand, lost smallholder knowledge, and heightened supply risks of large-scale disruptions and greater price volatility. Which origins will successfully navigate these (sometimes literal) storms? Which farmers in those origins? What will the consequences be for coffee roasters and drinkers in terms of flavour, sustainability, and business? There is little doubt that coffee agricultural research and development, and where and how it is applied, will influence the outcomes. Innovations that address the challenges faced by coffee agriculture will, to a significant degree, determine the course of coffee production over the next five decades. Agricultural research remains one of the most important tools the global community has to solve shared challenges. These challenges are far bigger than any one origin or any one company and precompetitive, collaborative engagement is key to tackling these big questions. One example is the way companies have stepped forward together via WCR to grapple with these existential questions, which have stakes for the entire industry. This work will truly help achieve impacts at a global scale.

trends have changed, digital platforms are transforming consumer experiences, and the e-economy is booming. Home consumption is at an all time high given the restrictions for face-to-face interactions. For the coffee industry, I think 2021 will be a very interesting year. Markets will be able to have better forecasting models when it comes to demand and also supply. It has been almost eight months into this pandemic. We went through the first lockdowns with the governments and industry. Now we can make more accurate predictions for the coming months.

Producing countries and institutions have policies and procedures on how to produce and process coffee in a COVID-19 controlled environment. On the consumption side, roasters have a better understanding of channel shifting between on-premise and home consumption. With the retail chains and coffee shops, we are going to see even further consolidation, in my opinion. This part of the industry has been stretched really thin during the past eight months. A lot of chains and coffee shops have managed to navigate to make a shift towards online sales, curbside pick-up, to-go, and delivery models – significantly changing the fundamental principles of many business models, such as large square footage in shops to deliver dining experiences. I want to also acknowledge the dramatic impact this pandemic is having on coffee professionals throughout the value chain on multiple levels and mostly economically, as a lot of people lost their jobs. Hopefully, we can expect the economy to rebound sometime in 2021.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WORLD COFFEE RESEARCH

COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of global supply chains and coffee is no exception. In genetics, in agricultural systems, and in global economics alike, diversity confers resilience. Currently, coffee farmers and agricultural systems have extremely little resilience potential to weather continued cumulative small crises, let alone regional or global catastrophes like a global pandemic, widespread plant disease epidemics, or multi-year droughts. Unfortunately, coffee isn’t keeping up with agricultural growth in most producing countries. In many, agriculture is a major driver of overall economic growth, but coffee is falling behind. Many key origin countries are not investing in coffee compared with other crops, indicating coffee producers could be better off switching to other kinds of farming or exiting coffee altogether. This should be a clear warning signal to businesses that rely

YANNIS APOSTOLOPOULOS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SPECIALITY COFFEE ASSOCIATION There was this strange feeling in the world, in the first months into this pandemic, that maybe things will be better in a few weeks. Then a few weeks turned into a few months. Halfway through the year, many expected that things would be better. I think all of us deep down are fully aware this is not the case. 2021 is going to be another year into this pandemic and we all hope that science will provide us with tools to save human lives and restore some type of normality to social life. However, I believe we need to look at the positive side of things. This year will, without a doubt, be another challenging year, yet there are fundamental differences that can allow us to be more optimistic. We know we are in the midst of a pandemic, and this is not an unexpected event anymore. We know we need to preserve lives and jobs while socially distancing. We know that consumer habits and consumption 34

G C R | J A N UA R Y / F E B R UARY 2021


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PROFILE Cafetto

Global specialist GCR TALKS TO CAFETTO CUSTOMERS ABOUT ITS INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION, GROWING MARKET PRESENCE, AND THE FAMILY VALUES THAT MAKE IT MORE THAN JUST A CLEANING SOLUTION BRAND.

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hen Sharon Bergström, Sales Manager of Espresso Gear, moved from the United Kingdom to Sweden, her baptism of fire into the coffee industry was the 2015 World of Coffee tradeshow in Gothenburg. There, she met Cafetto Managing Director Chris Short for the first time in his bright green blazer and matching glasses, and the relationship took off. “We love Cafetto. We have created a great bond with Chris, his wife Julie and the team. They’re a company that makes everyone feel special regardless of their size. We’re a relatively small company that runs at quite a high tempo, but Cafetto always makes time for us,” Bergström says. Seventy per cent of Espresso Gear’s business for wholesale and retail sale of coffee accessories is outside of Sweden, predominantly in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavia. “We try to promote ourselves as a personal service rather than a big coffee giant supplier. We believe in the products we sell, and that includes Cafetto,” Bergström says. “You can always count on them. Their products are reliable, there is always stock available, and their products are of the highest quality. I can’t fault them in any way. They keep coming up with new products all the time and are revolutionising cleaning products for our industry.” One such example has been the implementation of the Cafetto Organic range, which is the most popular at Espresso Gear. “We know some of our customers can be hesitant to put chemicals in their machines, so for Cafetto to have a green range that meets all the necessary certifications is just fantastic. We sell a lot of it, so it means our customers appreciate it too,” Bergström says. With many people working from home during 2020, Cafetto also provided customers with sachets packs of its cleaning products to cater to growing domestic demand. Ivan Kuek, Co-Founder of Singapore coffee equipment distributor, Stellar M, says home barista machines and associated products flew out the door of his business. “Singapore’s specialty coffee market is small but sophisticated. It evolved around 2009 to 2010, and Singaporeans have embraced it ever since. People are brewing at home, buying scales, v60 pour overs, and having fun experimenting,” Kuek says. “Consumers have high expectations about what

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they drink, but the domestic market still needs more education on the importance of cleaning.” In the commercial sector, it’s the opposite, with Cafetto used in about 80 per cent of Singapore cafés, according to Kuek. Stellar M also supplies Cafetto products with every machine it sells, including Moccamaster, Kees van der Westen, and Rocket Giotto espresso machines. “We give our customers Cafetto to use and when they run out, they’re the ones who tell us they need a refill. They always come back to replenish. It’s a brand they’re familiar with and one they know is effective,” Kuek says. On the other end of the scale, Marc Schneider of Vassalli Service is working hard to educate the local Swiss market of the importance of coffee machine cleaning and its impact on cup quality. “There’s a long way to go, but I really hope this message of acceptance is the next step. I would really love if more people took machine cleaning seriously,” he says. “Switzerland is one of the most expensive places in the world, and labour costs are the costliest part of business operations. Despite pointing out the advantages of having clean coffee equipment and its impact on equipment


and coffee flavour, many businesses still won’t do it because it’s an extra process and staff cost at the end of the day.” Schneider is committed to education through Vassalli Service and its Coffee Lab, which since opening in 2016, has become a very well-known and successful coffee training centre in Switzerland. “Cafetto is front and centre in the Lab when we talk about cleanliness. It has a product to suit every equipment and need. We started with the Cafetto EVO range (to remove coffee oils, grounds and stains) and MFC Blue for traditional machines. We later added the B30 tables for our fully automatic machines,” Schneider says. He first heard of Cafetto because of their sponsorship of the World Barista Championship in 2015. Schneider Googled the name, got in touch, and they started doing business. The following year, he received a visit from Chris himself. “I like working with Chris. He’s so likeable, humble and approachable, and the team is very professional. From the first Dankoff Coffee Specialist Managing time we met, I had this feeling of entering a family, and that’s what Director Danny Wong distributes Cafetto products in Malaysia. it has always felt like,” Schneider says. “If I need something, I get fast answers. They take our feedback very seriously, and I appreciate that I’m not contacted every day for sales. They let me work, they don’t push.” It’s been a tough year for Swiss hospitality businesses, with many experiencing uncertainty due to the impact of COVID-19. Schneider says the government shut down or restricted dine-in services on several occasions, but throughout it all, 60-year-old Vassali Service has remained a constant support. “Our business is exclusively focused on the hospitality market, so it’s been tough, but we’re hopeful of what the new year brings,” he says. “I’ve certainly learned a lot about coffee in the past seven years. It’s a fascinating industry.” Dankoff Coffee Specialist’s Managing Director Danny Wong also appreciates quality coffee and equally the products that enhance its flavour. He holds a soft spot for Australia, and Melbourne in particular, having lived in the city and attended the Melbourne International Coffee Expo in 2013. Wong’s visit was an eye-opening coffee experience but also an introduction to the Australian-made Cafetto team, for whom he had been distributing Cafetto products to more than 2000 businesses in Malaysia. “I choose Cafetto not just because of its quality, but because of Chris. He’s so humble and charming. He attends every industry trade show, and I trust doing business with him. Cafetto does business in an emotional way, where business is as much about the relationship as the product,” Wong says. Dankoff Marketing Manager Zhou Chern Wong adds that Cafetto General Manager Christine Song and her team have been extremely supportive of their sales efforts and how to plan and distribute Cafetto to the local market. “If we need flyers or samples shipped over immediately, they do it. This makes you appreciate the team at Cafetto for their efforts,” he says. For the past 15 years, Dankoff has been a one-stop shop and service solution for Malaysia’s hotel and café industry. Increasingly, Zhou Wong says its B2B and B2C market is becoming conscience of the importance of coffee equipment cleaning. “We’ve made cleaning a key part of the training we do with our commercial partners and at our Dankoff Academy,” he says. “When we sell espresso machine equipment, we tell the customer about the value of Cafetto and how to use it. We even supply a Cafetto starter pack for customers to get familiar with the brand and its purpose.” Danny Wong says following a COVID-19 lockdown and the temporary closure of businesses, customers are being extra cautious about the

cleanliness of their machines. “We had people asking us whether to descale their boiler, especially chain outlets. The importance of machine cleanliness is something I think we will continue to see,” he says. In quarter one of 2020, Dankoff took a hit to its sales, but thanks to its ecommerce store and the incoming sales of home machines, the business ended the year at 85 per cent capacity of where it was in 2019. The Dankoff team are looking forward to a strong 2021, with Cafetto by its side. G C R For more information, visit www.cafetto.com Cafetto’s Grinder Clean removes stale coffee residue and reduce blockages between burrs and internal chambers.

JA N UA R Y /FE B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 | GCR

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PROFILE Eversys

The definition of future EVERSYS CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER KAMAL BENGOUGAM ON HOW THE NEW ENIGMA SUPER TRADITIONAL MACHINE IS SET TO RECONCILE THE WORLDS OF TRADITION AND AUTOMATION, AND INFLUENCE THE NEXT GENERATION OF BARISTAS.

I

n the beginning, the world of coffee was dominated by archaic methods of brewing espresso. Stove top contraptions, open fire pots and kettles were the inspiration of the day. The world danced to a gentle rhythm, things took their normal pace and, just like my wife getting ready, the end often justified the means. Then, the world of mechanical devices The theme of rounded rectangular lines are reflected was birthed and many brands – principally in the group head design of the Enigma ST. in Italy – arose to produce not only fabulous espresso but also developed beautiful metallic machines. A bit like 1950s cars in post-war United States, espresso machines defined themselves through shiny curves, noisy powerful engines, and lots of theatrics. The world of ‘la dolce vita’ spread around the world as movies like Roman Holiday perked the youthful imagination of a new generation. Later, someone decided that coffee could be made more easily with the help of electronics. Efficient Swiss and German engineers began the process of automation and the world of coffee became confined within a rectangular box. Beauty was sacrificed at the altar of efficiency, and the market became forever divided between the ‘traditional’ and ‘automatic’ camps. Now, inspired by design aesthetics as well as in-cup quality, Eversys has developed a new line of coffee machines under the banner of Super Traditional (ST) equipment. We already knew that an automatic machine was efficient, productive, but could it really compete in traditional areas such as taste and design? It appears the answer is a resounding “yes” on both counts. But what about humans, baristas? Insanity is often described as doing repetitive tasks with the same outcome, so we have decided to remove mundane tasks like grinding, tamping, milk

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frothing and release the barista’s creativity and knowledge. Rather than being a mere factory worker, a barista’s role can be elevated to become more like a sommelier, a subject matter expert in the field of coffee products. So, what happens next? We have to let the market decide, choose whether or not to accept this new narrative, this new normal. Faced with reduced turnover, businesses have to become more productive, reduce costs, become more competitive, and, above all, place the customer at the centre of their value proposition. And, today’s customer seems to be more driven by choice, accessibility and speed than old


fashioned parameters of decision. At Eversys, we are really excited at the prospect of our new line of machines. The Enigma and Cameo ST offer the best of both worlds. Electronic intelligence, efficiency, control, as well as customisable aesthetics and leading edge in-cup quality and consistency.

Emi Fukahori, World Brewers Cup Champion 2018 and Founder of Mame, has experienced the new Eversys Enigma ST machine.

WHEN DESIGN MEETS FUNCTIONALITY The design of Eversys machines is a combination between design aesthetics and functionality, which has been achieved by enhancing the intrinsic characteristics of natural metals. The styling of the Enigma Classic has a sober and architectural approach, with the theme of the rounded rectangle highlighted on several elements: the main body, the belt around the displays, the stainless steel drip tray, and the vertical part of the aluminium coffee outlets. The Enigma ST goes one step further, by strengthening the emotionality of the machine. This is particularly noticeable on the back, where a double-curved translucent panel animates the volume of the machine, without looking too bulky. This is thanks to its quasi-floating connection to the side panels through milled metal pins. On the centre, a strong aluminium bar slices the volume, helping to reduce the visual height of the machine, affirming its strong character. The contrast between the high glossy finish of the back and the front is accentuated by the adoption of matt dark grey brushed side aluminium panels. In order to keep a family feeling with other Eversys machines like the Cameo X or the Enigma Classic, as well as to enhance the traditional aspect of the machine, copper is used as an accent colour on the display frames, and on the rear brand logo. Monochromatic selection icons are displayed to fit with the sober face that holds the allmetal outlets. Pure, timeless, authentic – the design definition of Eversys.

WHEN TALENT MEETS TECHNOLOGY In November 2020, at Eversys’s headquarters in Sierre, Switzerland, we had the chance to meet Emi Fukahori, World Brewers Cup Champion 2018 and Founder of Mame, a specialty coffee roaster and shop based in Zurich. Fukahori was born and raised in Japan. She came to Switzerland to study tourism and ended up falling in love with the coffee industry. Back then, Fukahori was interested in milk flavours and would ask herself: “How could a flat white taste so different from two coffee chains? Is it because of the barista, the beans or the coffee itself?” Fukahori discovered that coffee offers more complexity of taste and flavour than she ever imagined. It was only in 2014 when she had the opportunity to watch a World Barista Championship in action that she discovered a cappuccino could really taste like a strawberry, which marked the start of her coffee life. Fukahori’s journey thus far has led her to Eversys, where she got to experience our brand-new Enigma ST machine. “I really like the fact that it is making my life easier, not just because there is one less thing for me to do as I still have to program, taste, and work with the machine,” Fukahori says. “I think the importance of being a barista hasn’t changed. But with a machine such as this which is so easy to operate, it enlarges the possibilities of being Eversys CCO Kamal Bengougam. a barista. If you are driven by flavours from a different

industry such as a pastry chef, the machine and its functions make it accessible for you to entertain your customers and serve them great coffee, despite not being a fully-fledged barista yourself.” When Fukahori heard the Eversys Enigma ST tagline “a traditional yet fully automatic machine”, she knew she would be proud to show the machine to her customers. “With Eversys machines, it becomes very interesting to educate people how to program your shots or make perfect milk texture. There is nothing to hide. It’s an intelligent machine. It is definitely the future of coffee,” she says. The Enigma is not here to replace the barista. We should see it as an instrument, a tool. If coffee is the music, the barista is the composer and with great instruments, the musician can create even greater music. Some people may say that the journey ahead, towards reconciling the worlds of tradition and automatism remains substantial, but we at Eversys prefer to look back and appreciate how far we have come. And, while we cannot fathom the future, we can influence it by making good decisions in the present. G C R

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PROFILE Probat

The sixth sense ROBOTICS HAS FOUND ITS PLACE IN THE COFFEE INDUSTRY IN MANUFACTURING AND COFFEE PREPARATION, BUT WHAT ABOUT TASTE? GCR DISCOVERS A NEW DEVICE THAT CAN ANALYSE TASTE NUMERICALLY AND PUTS HUMAN CUPPERS TO THE TEST.

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or centuries, roasters have relied on the human palate to distinguish Probat’s Technology and Training Chemical flavour characteristics, but thanks to Japanese company Intelligent Engineer Sandra Bongers demonstrates a test on the Taste Sensing System. Sensor Technology (Insent), there’s a new product on the market matching the sophistication of human taste. Called the Taste Sensing System, this patented machine uses sensors which mimic the function of the human tongue to convert tastes into numerical data. On the tip of each sensor is an artificial lipid membrane, pre-treated in a solution of tasteless potassium chloride, intended to simulate human saliva. Each sensor is engineered to capture one of six taste factors as well as any aftertaste: sourness, saltiness, umami, bitterness, astringency, and sweetness. The sensors on the ends of finger-like rods are dipped into cups of sample coffee. Each lipid membrane reacts with a different flavour carrier on the membrane surface. First, the sensors are immersed in the tasteless solution to obtain reference potential, then move to the sample coffee to identify each taste factor found in the “initial taste” phase. The sensors are then immersed in the solution again to obtain a ‘difference between’ or CPA value – a change of membrane potential caused by adsorption. This provides data regarding the strength of bitter and astringent substances commonly found in the “aftertaste”. Tastes are detected via electric signal, analysed by computer, and presented as a numerical value in just one hour. coffee and used just 70 millilitres for each sensor German-based roasting machine manufacturer Probat was introduced to Insent’s Taste Sensing sample. Probat’s cupping panel tasted the same System in 2019 after scanning the roast samples. The Insent Taste Sensing market for new tools that could Probat Chief Technology Officer Thomas System with computer monitor help improve its work and that Koziorowski says the results from the sensor to receive and display results. of its customers. This technology proved to have a high correlation with those was awarded the 2017 Best New of the human sensory evaluation. Product by the Specialty Coffee “In a regular human cupping experience, Association for the accuracy and a typical spider graph of flavours is used. A consistency of its TS-5000Z Taste human can go deeper in their explanation of acidity, such as citric acidity or describe floral, Sensing System, and the Probat nutty notes. But what this technology does, is team are experiencing why. Keen to prove how helpful the identify the main taste characteristics with a tool actually is, Probat’s Technology base direction to compare your results. It can optimise not only taste but the quality of your and Training Chemical Engineer blend,” Koziorowski says. Sandra Bongers conducted an Bongers adds that the sensor unit measures initial trial of the Taste Sensing System. She made five roast coffee flavour descriptions as a number, so it’s easy samples of different colour grades to assess any variance in taste levels compared (light and dark profiles). with a human cupping panel. From the roast, Bongers Probat also tested coffee samples of different prepared 500 millilitres of filter roast length: short, medium, long, as well

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as using different roast profiles on different roasting equipment, including the Probat Jupiter tangential roaster and Probatino drum roaster. “Most roasters in the market know that if you have a longer roasting time, you lose acidity and in a shorter roast time you gain acidity, and that’s what we saw in the sensor results too,� Koziorowski says. “We also tested the consistency of the whole sensor system. We measured the samples twice, then three times, and four times and we always got the same reliable results. It really was astonishing and brilliant to see the high consistency of results.� Bongers went one further, measuring and comparing samples up to 20 times to see if there was any discrepancy or change in results. “When I saw how good it was, I thought, ‘wow, ok, I trust the sensor results. It means I only need one sample as a comparison for future tests,� she says. For Koziorowski, what was surprising was the clear display of results and a real direction of taste descriptors. “This tool makes a general calibration and what we get is an easy comparison of data that gives us a first, clear, base line direction when talking about flavour such as acidity or astringency of coffee,� he says. “Such technology could be really helpful when comparing the quality of roast or blends, especially the fine tuning of roast profiles or

development of new recipes – that’s a big point. Larger multinational companies may also want to compare roasts in different countries, so it’s a helpful tool. Instead of sending samples around the world you can have an instant comparison of results.� In terms of operation, Bongers says the sensor is very easy to control, with only one person needed to conduct the testing. “It is easy to handle but it’s useful to know about chemical and analytical things. Taking a sample is very simple. I just brew a filter coffee, take a sample, and it’s measured,� she says. “Normally when I roast, I conduct a cupping of the coffee the next day. With the sensor, I can measure it automatically overnight, so that when I arrive the next morning, I have results before the human cupping panel has started. It’s a first check of how the acidity is tasting, or the level of bitterness or aftertaste. It’s the first real piece of evidence to tell you what has happened in your roast and I think that’s very important for the quality control of a blend because cuppings are not always on the same day as the roast.� In a world that continues to work from home and has strict guidelines around hygiene, the Taste Sensing System is also the perfect solution when it’s difficult to get a team together for a cupping. While it can’t detect aroma – an idea that may not be too far from reality – Koziorowski says it is the ideal accompaniment to a human cupping panel for advanced quality assurance. “Maybe in a few years, or 100 years, we might see technology replace the human palate, we don’t know precisely if or when because technology is always changing,� he says. “It’s up to individual companies to question if they rely on their people and their cupping boards or the technology. For us, at this point, the sensor is a tool that supports our staff and their results.� Where it will be helpful, Koziorowski says, is to show consumers accurate images of taste descriptions, assist product development, provide objective sensory evaluation, and manage advanced quality control without well-trained sensory testers or expensive analytical instruments. The technology is already commonly used in the pharmaceutical, beverage, and food industries. To date, more than 600 devices are in use, with 25 of them at coffee roasting plants in Japan. When it comes to research and development, Probat is always looking into new equipment and opportunities to enhance its coffee roasting equipment. This is evident by the introduction of Internet of Things technology and the establishment of software solutions company fabscale to support roasting customers with data management and analysis. “We are always looking at what new technology makes sense to develop on our roasters to help enhance roasts and cup quality, and this sensor may be the next step in developing such equipment in the future. We are already thinking how we can better link sensory data into our new roaster control systems,� Koziorowski says. PROBATŽ Sensory Testing & “We want to continue helping our customers in the right way InsentŽ Taste Sensor and find solutions to their problems.� G C R

Strong 2

The sensory testing was performed by PROBATÂŽ. Sensory scores and taste ��� sensor results were normalized as đ?‘Œđ?‘Œ = , where Îź is the average of X and ďż˝ Ďƒ is the standard deviation.

Columbia Excelso Batch 4, Farbe 81, Rz. 445 s, P1 Linear

For more information, visit www.probat.com/en

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Bitterness

Columbia Excelso Batch 18, Farbe 104, Rz. 427 s, P3 low>high

Columbia Excelso Batch 2, Farbe 100, Rz. 432 s, P1 Linear

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Columbia Excelso Batch 12, Farbe 102, Rz. 403 s, P2 high>low -1

Columbia Excelso Batch 9, Farbe 120, Rz. 437 s, P1 Linear

Probat (human sensory score) Insent's Taste Sensor -2

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Acidity

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SUSTAINABILITY ECOM

Purpose and profit ECOM GROUP, ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST FAMILY-OWNED COFFEE MERCHANTS, TALKS ABOUT ITS COMMITMENT TO INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS AND MAKING A PROFITABLE SUPPLY CHAIN.

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hen it comes to sustainability solutions, Teddy Esteve, Managing Director at ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Limited and CEO of Coffee, says the company pioneered innovations in the services offered to farmers in the days when traders were only supposed to trade. “At ECOM, sustainability is something we live and breathe every day. We integrated sustainability into our company strategy before the word was fashionable,” Esteve says. “The reason we started back in the 90s was because our close relationships with farmers allowed us to see how difficult it was for a producer to make money in the post-ICO [International Coffee Organization] quota-free market. We had suppliers who weren’t making money when prices were sky high at US$3.00 per pound. We wanted the farmers to be successful.” To reach the level of productivity that allows farmers to be profitable and sustainable, ECOM created its Sustainable Management Services (SMS) division. By implementing tailored programs and providing tools and solutions to producers, SMS can support smallholder farmers in sustainable practices while being productive. It also provides clients with increased traceability in their supply chain. SMS’s first goal was to certify farms. Back then, Esteve says certifications such as Rainforest Alliance had no market. It was a leap of faith he is happy to have taken. “The farmers realised that if we helped them certify their coffee, they could make $10 more per bag. So they did. Then we said, ‘how about we improve your quality. That will help you make another $10 per bag.’ Quality is important but the big multiplier is productivity. When we said, ‘let’s work on your productivity. It will allow you to triple your output so that 200 bags become 600 bags,’ then the farmers were enthusiastic about the potential,” Esteve says. “These are the three first steps towards sustainability – I tried it myself on my farms and I can tell you it’s easier said than done.”

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ECOM’s laboratory in Nicaragua where coffee hybrids are developed and multiplied using vitro micropropagation techniques.

The fourth step to ECOM’s sustainability strategy is financing. Once a farmer is eligible for ECOM’s micro credits, they can invest in their farms and have access to an expert sales team and technical assistance. These pillars fit in ECOM’s statement of purpose: “creating connected rural prosperity”. It aims to enhance farmer livelihoods and connect them to the best markets for their products. Even then, Esteve says some farmers still have a tough time running a profitable operation. How then do the less fortunate farmers do it? “It’s when you confront this situation that you realise why we definitely need to be focusing on making sure our suppliers are more productive or diversified,” he says. ECOM has a large portfolio of projects covering more than 600,000 farmers, including more 300 sustainability projects, with a network of 1500 field agronomists and staff. But more technical assistance is still required to help farmers reach the levels of productivity


SUSTAINABILITY ECOM

needed to remain profitable. Some origins need more support than others, while others, such as Brazil and Vietnam, influence sustainability standards and lead coffee pricing. Esteve says producers in Asia, East Africa and Latin America still need support to compete at the same price level. “For many people, coffee is not their main job. Some have inherited a plantation with no interest in running it, and others do not believe their land is valuable yet but might be in 10 years’ time. So, they still need someone to manage the farm,” Esteve says. “To date, we have many farms in East Africa and Latin America under farm management where SMS has participated directly in the rehabilitation and renovation [of these farms and plants].” Farm management is one means by which ECOM is helping promote farmer resilience. The other, is investment in the development of new hybrid varietals. For the past 17 years, ECOM has shared a strong partnership with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) to develop and breed new hybrids. Thanks to the work of CIRAD Research Director Benoit Bertrand and the early backing of Promecafé, samples are taken from the leaves of “favourite” varietals and multiplied to create “the perfect tree”. Its most famous creation is that of rust-resistant varietal Marsellesa, which Esteve describes as the “Volvo” of the hybrid world. The “Ferrari” is the H1. This varietal has very good productivity – two times higher than Caturra or Catuai, but like the luxury sports car, demands special maintenance. And then there is a “special” undisclosed “Tesla” varietal that produces hybrid seeds – the famous Starmaya. To date, five plant varieties developed at the research laboratories have been registered in World Coffee Research’s plant catalogue. More than 20 million plants were distributed to 11 countries in 2019. “We needed to start planting these coffee varieties to have a chance of competing with countries like Brazil and Vietnam,” Esteve says. Jose Esteve Thomas founded ECOM in 1849 as a cotton trading operator, with coffee added to the business in 1959. Today, the business has a reputation as a global leader and trader in coffee, cocoa, and cotton across 40 origin countries. What is unique about ECOM, Esteve says, is that many members of the management team are coffee farmers themselves. Esteve is one such producer. “COVID-19 has provoked some changes of mind. I have the gut feeling that demand for organic coffee will grow. We believe in organic and regenerative agriculture to reduce the use of fertilisers. As such, we have started a carbon department to help our customers understand the path to reducing carbon emissions, and reach carbon neutrality,” he says. Another project ECOM is implementing within its supply chains is the Social Progress Index (SPI). Producers within SMS’s network will take part in the study and be monitored through the SPI lens in core areas of household wellbeing such as access to water and sanitation, education, and other basic needs. ECOM’s aim is to leverage the SPI methodology to identify key areas for improvement within local communities and create a collaborative environment with local stakeholders. The SPI methodology will also be used to monitor progress and impact. “Like all efforts and investments in sustainability, from social practices to economic and environmental programs, progress must be tracked. Otherwise, like we say in Spanish, ‘a task given without follow through is like having homework without a teacher to correct it’,” Esteve says. There is still work to be done, but the positive impact of ECOM’s investments is clear. “We’ve been collaborating with a family of farmers in Mexico and when he started with ECOM, he had just 20 hectares of land. The family now owns close to 400 hectares,” Esteve says. ECOM has a network of 1500 agronomists and staff working to help “Another source of satisfaction is to see farmers achieving improve farmer productivity and profitability. productivity of 50 bags per hectare on average a year, up at

Teddy Esteve, Managing Director at ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Limited and CEO of Coffee.

least 100 per cent in the last three years, and of incredible quality.” Esteve says this success is thanks to ECOM’s devotion to innovation, building relationships, and its ability to identify farmer needs before they hit news headlines. “Collaborating with farmers in implementing solutions for a more prosperous livelihood is what gives our business a human face and what makes going to the office every day (even if it’s a home office) more inspiring,” Esteve says. “Innovation is ingrained in our DNA, but if we want flawless supply chains, we need to look after our farmers so that when our customers buy coffee from ECOM, they can be confident that it’s very well looked after from all angles.” G C R For more information, visit www.ecomsms.com

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SUSTAINABILITY Huskee

No time to waste HUSKEESWAP COMBINES SUSTAINABILITY WITH CONVENIENCE, PROVIDING A REUSABLE CUP SYSTEM THAT’S EASY AND HYGIENIC FOR COFFEE SHOPS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS.

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any governments, businesses, and people look at how they can “close the loop” on waste, but few embrace that idea quite like Huskee. The Australian-based company saw how much waste is left over from coffee processing and the amount of single-use plastic exiting the café. With HuskeeCup, it kills two birds with one stone. “HuskeeCup is made with a unique biopolymer containing coffee husk, a waste product from the milling stage of coffee production,” explains Michael McFarlane, HuskeeSwap Operations Manager. “When you pick a coffee cherry, dry it, and mill it, there’s a layer outside the seed which comes off. I liken it to the bit of popcorn that gets stuck in your teeth. It usually piles up on coffee farms and can become a pest or fire risk. Some can be integrated back as compost, however, it’s difficult in such high volumes, so we set out to repurpose that waste.” But to Huskee, the HuskeeCup needs to be more than environmentally friendly to be sustainable. It also has to be viable for a café to use long term and at scale, an area where McFarlane says most reusable cup solutions struggle. “When a barista in a café starts to receive a lot of reusables, they suddenly have to manage different sizes, shapes, lid configurations, and remembering whose is whose. It becomes tough to manage on a daily basis,” he says. “Pre-COVID, you were getting cups that weren’t always clean and the barista had to The HuskeeCup is created with coffee husk, step away from the machine to wash them, so a waste product from coffee production. hygiene was another issue.”

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To overcome this, Huskee launched the HuskeeSwap program, allowing consumers to exchange their used HuskeeCups for a fresh one when ordering coffee at a participating café. A coffee shop just needs to carry a set of exchangeable HuskeeCups to take part in the program as well as retail cups so customers can join in too. “The advantage of HuskeeSwap is streamlined inventory. When someone arrives at a café with a HuskeeCup, they just have to hand in their cup and lid, the café puts it aside to wash at a less busy time, and the customer gets one of the café’s float cups kept on top of the machine,” McFarlane says. “The hygiene is exactly the same as you’d expect from dine-in cutlery. They’re washed, sanitised, and put through a commercial dishwasher onsite, so the barista just grabs a HuskeeCup as they would a single-use cup and off they go.” This hygienic element has become increasingly important in light of many cafés turning away from reusable cups during the COVID-19 pandemic. McFarlane says several HuskeeSwap partner cafés have introduced additional steps for even greater assurance. “There was not a lot of advice in the early


SUSTAINABILITY Huskee

days of COVID about what the right thing was to do, so understandably, a lot of cafés were suspending “We find if we have cafés that are fully reusables,” he says. behind and are passionate about HuskeeSwap, “Even when reusables are clean, the customer has had to carry that cup into the café, so there’s they are the ones that find the most success a real risk for cross contamination, whereas HuskeeCups are sanitised on premises, so you get a far and the system organically grows from there,” more hygienic cup.” McFarlane says. Many of these cafés have worked pre-ordering or order-ahead options into the HuskeeSwap “We partnered with one café in Budapest program, something usually difficult when waiting for a customer to bring in their own cup. that was committed to reducing its waste and Others have set up designated drop-off spots, with tubs or dishwasher trays for customers to it really spread the word and got the movement return used HuskeeCups, so the barista or café worker can load them straight into the dishwasher going. Now, HuskeeSwap has become the with minimal contact. ‘reusable of choice’ in Hungary.” “It’s an interesting time for us in COVID. There was a downturn in reusables at the start of While the polypropylene material used the year, which then picked up dramatically, especially in Australia [where case numbers are very alongside coffee husk to produce HuskeeCups low],” McFarlane says. make them durable, crack resistant, and “Some cafés are still not ready to accept reusables, but others are, and many are appreciating dishwasher safe, nothing lasts forever. When the hygienic element of HuskeeSwap. We’ve seen a lot of cafés take part that were on the fence a HuskeeCup reaches the end of its life, it can be returned to Huskee where it will find a new about joining, because they’re seeing the waste pile up and business owners are seeing the bill for life under its HuskeeLoop initiative. all these single-use cups.” “If a café is using new cups and something Selling retail HuskeeCups also recoups the small operating costs of washing and rotating HuskeeCups, which McFarlane says makes HuskeeSwap cash positive when considering savings on old, stained, or damaged gets swapped in, it single-use cups. shouldn’t be the café’s responsibility to take “We see well setup swap sites start with about 10 to 15 swaps a day, with some of our biggest care of it, so the system has to,” McFarlane says. sites in New South Wales growing up to 150 swaps,” McFarlane says. “We are just about to launch a new product, Some cafés are also using the Australian Good Design Award winning cups for their sit-down made in Sydney of entirely of pre-loved orders too for even greater workflow and inventory management. The cups come in three sizes – six, HuskeeCups, hopefully the first of many.” G C R eight, and 12 ounces – with each featuring the same recognisable ridged design. HuskeeSwap users can swap between these sizes as necessary. For more information, visit huskee.co “We didn’t want there to be a situation where a café has to say ‘no’ because the customer has the wrong size cup. All they have to do is hand in the cup HuskeeSwap allows consumers to bring their HuskeeCup to a venue and leave and lid and they’ll get the size that matches their beverage,” McFarlane says. with their coffee in a clean new one. The HuskeeSwap app features the location of every swap site across the globe. Recently, the app has launched two new features – Store and Borrow – providing customers with greater convenience and flexibility. “If you’ve got a reusable cup with you that you don’t want to carry around, you can scan a QR code at the café and ‘store’ the cup with them and pick another one up the next time you order a coffee there,” McFarlane says. If a customer has forgotten their HuskeeCup, they can ‘borrow’ another from the café. They have five days to return the cup before the price of the cup is charged to their account. “The main issue with reusable cups is we sometimes forget them. Borrow is there as a back-up plan, and not something you can use every day,” McFarlane says. “It’s also there for those who are interested in HuskeeSwap but don’t want to commit to buying a cup. They can try HuskeeSwap for five days and as long as they’ve returned their final cup, they get their money back. Both features are all about trying to make reusables more convenient.” Since its beginning as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017, Huskee has expanded from the coast of New South Wales to hundreds of HuskeeSwap sites across 22 countries. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Hungary have joined Australia as some of its major markets. Many of these countries, like Canada and Australia, have seen changing community and government perceptions around the use of single-use plastics, pushing cafés to find alternatives sooner rather than later. For others, HuskeeSwap has grown through word of mouth.

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SUSTAINABILITY Olam

Through the lens GREEN BEAN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER OLAM COFFEE HAS SET ITSELF AN AMBITIOUS ROADMAP AND TARGETS TO HELP SAFEGUARD THE FUTURE OF COFFEE PRODUCTION.

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he sustainability of the coffee industry is facing many challenges, with millions of smallholder producers feeling the impact of climate change and volatile prices. One of the world’s leading green coffee origin exporters, Olam Coffee, has spent more than a decade working on the ground in 18 producing countries to help coffee communities improve their livelihoods. This includes providing its sourcing network of about 424,000 farmers with greater profitability, access to education and training, and protection of surrounding landscapes. In October 2020, Olam Coffee strengthened its commitment to sustainability, with the release of Coffee LENS. Standing for Livelihoods, Education and Nature at Scale, the roadmap sets the business’s first formal and public sustainability targets, which it intends to hit by 2025. Juan Antonio Rivas, Senior Vice President and Global Head – Coffee Sustainability and Business Development at Olam Food Ingredients, tells Global Coffee Report that Coffee LENS unifies Olam’s efforts across the supply chain. “We’ve been evolving our sustainability programs and ambitions in coffee for a long time,” Rivas says. “Devising a comprehensive strategy with clear ambitions was like putting together a complex puzzle with a lot of different pieces. It’s not only about finding a direction and setting targets, but taking action to make a positive impact.” Aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Coffee LENS focuses on four priority areas: economic opportunity, education and skills, climate action, and healthy ecosystems. In an industry as diverse as coffee, Olam had to identify the most pressing problems producers face across the globe. “Each supply chain is different. This structured approach is geared towards partnering with customers, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders, to tailor support according to the particular economic, social and environmental circumstances of individual farmer groups,” Rivas says. “As a company, Olam Food Ingredients works with many different agricultural products and has set a very comprehensive sustainability framework with 10 key material areas. We prioritised the four most relevant to coffee.”

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In terms of economic opportunity, Olam Coffee aims to improve the productivity and incomes of 200,000 coffee households through technical support and enabling access to higher-value markets. A second target is to train 100,000 coffee households on sustainable agricultural practices and basic business skills. “There is a growing consensus in the industry that farmer livelihoods must be the top priority to guarantee a sustainable future for coffee,” Rivas says. “If it’s not economically viable for farmers, then there is no incentive to continue farming and the industry will not be able to continue supplying the growing demand.” Before Coffee LENS, Olam trained 34,000 farmers last year on sustainable agricultural practices and had registered more than 4000 farmers on its Olam Direct platform, a buying app that allows producers to access daily coffee prices, as well as negotiate and transact directly with Olam, so they retain more value of their coffee. “With economic opportunity, the best way we can deliver improvement is often through delivering training on the ground to farmers so they can increase quality and yields,” Rivas says. Education and skills, Olam’s second priority, focuses on ensuring training and resources go to


SUSTAINABILITY Olam

those who need it most. Olam will implement education remediation plans in all “high-risk coffee supply chains”, areas the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization defines as having low school attendance. At the end of 2019, Olam had 12 school infrastructure programs in place. One example is a high school co-funded and constructed in the Kasama district of Zambia with Promoting Equality in African Schools and the Costa Coffee Foundation, to improve access to secondary education in the rural communities around Olam’s Kateshi coffee estate. Olam also runs family succession projects with 1390 coffee households worldwide. “Coffee has a demographic challenge, with the average age of coffee growers increasing. We want to ensure generational succession, by promoting opportunities in agriculture to a minimum of 10,000 children and youth through vocational training,” Rivas says. “Encouraging young people to see the value of coffee production is important for the sustainability of the industry. “Another issue is gender representation. Coffee production is male dominated in most countries. We want a minimum of 20 per cent of those trained in good agricultural practices to be women.” Training more farmers on sustainable agricultural practices will contribute to Olam’s third priority: climate action. Coffee production is heavily impacted by climate change, but it is also a contributor of carbon emissions. Through improved land-use management, climate-smart farming and post-harvest practices, and more efficient energy use, Olam aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 15 per cent by 2025. “This will be extremely challenging for us, because if you look at the carbon footprint of any agricultural product, cultivation is the biggest contributor,” Rivas says. “Reducing our emissions by 15 per cent requires a comprehensive and holistic approach across multiple areas of production and processing, like teaching farmers how to use energy and fertiliser in a more efficient way, planting trees, and ensuring there is no deforestation.” Olam distributed 138,000 non-coffee trees to farmers in 2019 to help farmers diversify their farms, so they can act as carbon sinks, thus reducing CO2 emissions. Creating and sustaining healthy ecosystems is Olam’s fourth priority under Coffee LENS. For Olam, this will mean ensuring coffee supply chains are deforestation-free and that farms have healthy soils and biodiverse landscapes. To achieve these goals, over the next five years, Olam will plant five million native tree species, implement remediation plans in “high-risk sourcing areas” according to the Forest Loss and Risk Index, and improve soil health across more than 20,000 hectares. “With the impact of climate change on coffee yields, there is growing pressure in some countries on farmers to expand or move their farms into forests and national parks in search of more suitable growing areas. We need to remove the economic incentive for farmers to encroach into these biodiverse-

Olam Coffee has published its first set of public sustainability targets, which it intends to hit by 2025.

rich areas and protect them,” Rivas says. “Another environmental challenge, especially with washed coffee, is water use. This processing method typically requires a lot of water so we need to help farmers reduce the amount they use and make sure it is treated and recycled to avoid contaminating soils and local water sources.” Olam Coffee’s targets include saving one million cubic metres of water annually in coffee cultivation and processing, and reducing untreated wastewater effluent by 50 per cent. Already, Olam’s Sironko washing station in Uganda was able to treat and recycle 150 million litres of waste water during the 2019 crop year. Before being released, wastewater was treated onsite, with the discarded pulp composted for use instead of chemical fertilisers. Olam will share progress on Coffee LENS annually, which will be tracked and supported by data from its sustainability insights platform AtSource. AtSource was developed to allow coffee companies to trace their beans all the way back to the estate or farmer group they came from, with detailed analysis of the social and environmental footprint at each stage of the journey. Rivas says these metrics will provide Olam with accountability for reaching its Coffee LENS targets. “It’s a five-year ambition. We’ve defined our priority areas, set targets, and are now in the implementation stage, which is the most challenging and exciting part as well. But it won’t end in 2025. We’ll continue to challenge ourselves in the future with new, more ambitious targets.” he says. “Because of the size and scale at which we operate, we have a responsibility to contribute to the sustainability of the overall coffee sector. But no single company can solve all the industry’s problems alone. This is why we’re looking for new alliances with our partners – customers, governments, financial institutions, multi-lateral agencies and NGOs – to increase the impact of what we’re already doing to build a more resilient coffee sector, one where farmers prosper and landscapes flourish.” G C R For more information, visit www.olamgroup.com/products-services/olam-foodingredients/coffee/sustainability-in-coffee.html

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SUSTAINABILITY Penagos

Keeping above water FOR DECADES, COLOMBIAN MANUFACTURER PENAGOS HAS DESIGNED PROCESSING EQUIPMENT THAT ALLOWS COFFEE PRODUCERS TO REDUCE THEIR WATER USAGE, ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION, AND CARBON FOOTPRINT.

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nown for producing clean and vibrant flavour profiles, washed or wet processing is the most common processing method seen on coffee farms across the globe. Unfortunately, using so much water in the process means it’s often not as ‘clean’ for the environment as it is in the cup. With this in mind, Colombian agricultural machinery manufacturer Penagos has spent the last 50 or so years designing washed coffee processing equipment that uses less water. Elias Ariza Villamil, Coffee Line Manager at Penagos, says its equipment for pulping, demucilaging, classification, and transport, as well as how Penagos designs coffee wet mills, has the lowest water consumption in the world. “We were the first company to design equipment that could pulp coffee without water, and since then, Penagos developed the Ecowasher for have looked at how we can help reduce consumption use with fermented coffee beans. of water across coffee processing,” says Ariza Villamil. “When you use less water, there’s less treatment required of wastewater, which reduces the carbon footprint of the processing.” Diego Botello, International Sales Agent at Penagos, says as coffee traders and roasters look at the sustainability and carbon footprint of their own supply chains, many realise just how big an impact is made at the farm level. “Traditionally, farmers didn’t think about things like water contamination or the smoke from burning leftover coffee husk. Now, climate change is affecting the weather and what land can be used to grow Arabica, so big companies are raising awareness about this pollution,” Botello says. “For farmers, it can be difficult to address these emissions. First, it goes against their idea of how coffee was traditionally produced. Second, because their income is very low, they cannot always afford new machines.” Claudia Penagos, Corporate Relations Manager for Penagos, says it’s crucial these larger coffee players who want to improve their sustainability help smaller producers make the change. “Big companies are putting special attention on sustainability, but it’s not as easy for small producers,” Penagos says. “It’s expensive to produce coffee sustainably. Everybody is trying to save water and energy, but without help, the change will go very slowly. “We are committed to sustainability and are talking with the big coffee roasters and traders, learning what they need, what are their concerns, and how they want to help.” Penagos works with many coffee business, governments, and NGOs in several countries to improve the sustainability of coffee production. Starting in 2009, Penagos partnered with

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Technoserve and the Zero Hunger program, installing eco-friendly wet processing equipment in several communities across East Africa. Penagos says the program has been particularly vital for female-led communities. “We’ve had a lot of success cases with women working with our wet mills, who have improved the income, living conditions, and quality of life for themselves and those in their communities,” she says. “In Ethiopia, we have installed more than 300 wet mills for cooperatives and each case is a success story.” This initiative helped Penagos establish itself in Africa, with other producers and cooperatives seeing the benefits of its equipment. Penagos is now active in 40 coffee producing countries around the world, with agents or distributors in 24 of them. The relatively compact size of its


SUSTAINABILITY Penagos

Elias Ariza Villamil is the Coffee Line Manager at Penagos.

Diego Botello is the International Sales Agent at Penagos.

equipment, which often combines several different functions, has been a key differentiator of Penagos on the market. Botello says this makes the equipment, particularly its compact wet mill UCBE range, more accessible to many farmers. “Since Penagos launched its first compact wet mill – rolling pulping, sorting, and demucilaging into one – in the mid 1980s, we’ve always aimed to make smaller machines with a lot of features to help farmers,” he says. “This comes from looking at the needs of the farmers. Every day, hand labour is becoming more expensive, and it’s difficult for farm owners to hire only the experienced pickers who can identify ripe cherries. So, we’ve adapted our latest equipment, the UDC, to not only pulp and wash coffee but sort out the unripe cherries too.” The UDC uses vibro-elastic pulping channels to pulp the cherry without harming the green bean. A sieve then removes the mature pulped beans, while the others are sent to a second high-pressure sieve that filters out green cherries while pulping remaining semi-ripe beans. A final pulp remover takes away any excess pulp. A demucilage stage is optional, so producers can decide how best to process their coffees. Replacing several machines with one smaller unit significantly reduces the energy usage and space required at a coffee farm or mill. Botello says this is possible thanks to the Penagos research and development team having decades of experience in the fields. Recently, Penagos looked at how it can also cater to new developments in coffee production, like the washed processing of fermented coffees. This came to life in September 2018, with the unveiling of the Ecowasher. “Ecowasher helps farmers wash their fermented coffees in a faster, cheaper, and sustainable way, saving water, human labour, and power,” Botello says. “Many buyers are encouraging farmers to experiment with fermentation so they can produce specialty of differentiated coffees. We adapted our technology to suit this new trend.” Claudia Penagos says compared with any other machine that fill a similar role on the market, Ecowasher uses almost a third of the power. “It’s a proven technology. As soon as coffee producers see the Ecowasher, they want to buy it,” Penagos says. “In Africa alone, we are sending about 35 machines to Rwanda and 12 machines to Kenya. Even if producers have not seen the Ecowasher in person and are not convinced, our partners – including some of the world’s biggest coffee traders, which source most of their post harvesting equipment from Penagos – want to put these machines in their hands, because they believe in the results.” Not only does Penagos continue to improve the footprint of its products, the manufacturer looks internally at how its own production can have a better impact on the environment. Penagos has reduced and, as much as possible, avoids material waste in its production process. Future Penagos facilities or offices will also conform to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, with better ventilation and natural lighting reducing energy usage.

Claudia Penagos is the Corporate Relations Manager for Penagos.

“We have to give back what we take. The new generations are more concerned with sustainability, and we all have to change how we think about the things we do. If we don’t do that, we won’t have a future, so Penagos is committed to doing it,” Penagos says. Penagos will also continue to look at how it can design equipment with lower energy and water usage at the farm level. Ariza Villamil says environmentally friendly dry or natural coffee processing equipment is a current focus for the company. “The highest percentage of carbon footprint at farm level comes from the fertiliser, which requires a lot of energy and transportation. This will take time to reduce, but what we can influence now is emissions from processing,” he says. “We’ve set goals to reduce 80 per cent of the energy needed in processing, and that starts with small changes, like the design of the wet mill using special tanks that need less water to move coffee.” Larger initiatives to reach that target involve helping farmers form cooperatives, organisations, and associations, so they have access to better resources and education. “We know smallholders individually produce more contamination. If they’re joined together, it’s easier to manage the treatment of waste like water, one mill will use less electricity, and you can increase quality and productivity of the coffee,” Ariza Villamil says. “The coffee industry is in danger, and we need to start by putting the right tools in the hands of growers.” G C R For more information, visit www.penagos.com

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SUSTAINABILITY Rancilio

Looking ahead RANCILIO IS PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE, IMPROVING ITS ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT AND THE SERVICES IT OFFERS TO THE GLOBAL COFFEE INDUSTRY.

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uggero Ferrari, CEO of Rancilio Group, says it’s more important than ever that businesses think about the environment and the impact they have on it. Sustainability is woven into the very fabric of the Italian coffee machine manufacturer’s business model, characterising every step of the value chain and representing an essential factor in the company’s long-term success. “For Rancilio Group, sustainability is a responsibility that involves each and every part of our business worldwide,” Ferrari says. “As a cornerstone of our vision, it will be a crucial factor as we define a new development model capable of balancing economic, financial, environmental, and social interests.” For years, Ferrari says Rancilio Group has pursued a rigorously eco-friendly course of action and, in line with the main international standards, establishes new targets for efficiency and constant dialogue with its main stakeholders every single year. Rancilio’s commitment to protecting the environment takes many forms. It includes investment in the responsible management of natural resources and the reduction of energy and water consumption, the construction of energy-efficient production systems, and the use of alternative energy sources to reduce its CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. The manufacturer’s production facility is equipped with a photovoltaic system for the production of renewable energy, which covers a surface area of more than 8000 square metres. Furthermore, as of 2020, a 100 per cent renewable energy supply will cover the energy requirements of the Rancilio Group

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Rancilio has launched a Digital Training Centre for its international customers.

headquarters, certified through the Guarantee of Origin scheme. At Rancilio Group, all waste is sorted – separated into iron, copper, brass, aluminium, plastic, and paper. Each year, more than 1000 kilograms of coffee grounds used to test Egro and Rancilio products are recycled and used as natural fertiliser for the company garden. The issue of sustainability is also at the forefront of the Group’s mind in the development of each new product, starting in the research and development, purchasing, and production departments. For Rancilio Group, developing reliable, long-lasting products that are energy efficient and completely recyclable is a daily challenge, and a matter of quality and transparency. To obtain these kinds of results, research focuses on studying new technologies to improve the products’ energy efficiency and seeking out innovative materials with low environmental impact. One of the future goals of the Rancilio Group is to embark upon a path of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for each of its products to identify and measure the environmental impact resulting from its manufacturing and over the course of their entire life. Governed by ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 international environmental standards, the LCA methodology analyses and optimises every single process. It then draws up plans of action for reducing the areas of impact identified, and contributes to the development of new, increasingly eco-friendly product lines. This focus on sustainability will guide Rancilio into and through 2021, but it’s not the only move the global coffee machine manufacturer has made to prepare itself for a year of growth. To maximise its international after sales and customer support services, Rancilio Group has announced the establishment of its Digital Training Centre. Dedicated to products in the Rancilio, Egro, Rancilio Specialty, and Promac lines, the


SUSTAINABILITY Rancilio

remote training centre provides Rancilio Group’s clients the opportunity to engage their technical assistance staff in a series of e-learning courses, all free of charge. Clients who sign up for the Digital Training Centre’s programs can consult with their dedicated Customer Support Manager to customise the training course and plan their schedule to suit their needs. “We have transferred all of our technical courses online, making them available on demand for all of our clients,” says Davide Beccaglia, Head of Customer Support at Rancilio Group. “We are one of the first coffee machine manufacturers to offer certified training courses remotely. We have decided to invest in people, training a vast network of highlyskilled technicians spread across the world”. All the courses take place in the form of webinars and are led by technical training managers from the Rancilio and Egro Training Centres. The courses are organised into several interactive modules which cover both theory and practice. They are designed to illustrate how products work, and how to adjust and maintain them, with a step-bystep approach. Alongside this, the Customer Support team is working on a series of video tutorials. These will be made available in the near future for registered users to watch in the Rancilio Group video library. “We have created a set to put on webinars in our Training rooms, and we work closely

Ruggero Ferrari is the CEO of Rancilio Group.

with the finest technical trainers and a specialised film crew,” Beccaglia says. “In these webinars, we show off our products – including shots of the internal components - and share teaching videos and materials. Everyone can interact with the trainer at any point and discuss the topic freely with the other participants, just as they would during in-person courses.” Those interested can attend the webinars live, but they can also be recorded and made available only to the Rancilio customers who have attended them, so that the participants can go back and rewatch them at a later date. Rancilio has also strengthened the in-person support is can offer in several regions, starting with developed markets Australia and New Zealand. Partnering with the longstanding foodservice equipment distributor Moffat Group, Rancilio has established Rancilio Group Australasia to streamline its service to customers in the Asia Pacific. Both companies are part of the Ali Group, one of the largest global leaders in the foodservice equipment industry, The training centre will host webinar courses Paul O’Brien, a long-time led by its technical training managers. representative of Rancilio in the region, will continue to lead Rancilio Group Australasia as its General Manager. “Rancilio and Egro have been around in Australia for about 35 years now. It’s been a great history with a number of partners over the years. Now, we have full control over the brand and can serve the market directly,” O’Brien says. “Moffat are an amazing business with outstanding reach and resources. It’s exciting to see where its resources can take Rancilio, and in such a short time, we’ve already achieved some amazing things.” Moffat Group joined the Ali Group in 2000 and has extensive distribution, service, and dealer relationships, supported by corporate offices in all major cities across Australia and New Zealand. O’Brien says the new business structure will enable Rancilio to move from an ex-works-style model to something more supportive of its partners and distributors. “We’re passionate about growing the Australian market and now we can do that directly with our existing and new partners,” O’Brien says. “Our business is built on loyalty and partnerships. Being here locally means everyone can have the same level of service, for the large equipment distributors to the ‘mum and dad’ coffee roasters.” G C R Davide Beccaglia is the Head of Customer Support at Rancilio Group.

For more information, visit www.ranciliogroup.com

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SUSTAINABILITY UCC

Seal of approval WITH EKOPOD, UCC COFFEE HAS CRAFTED A SUSTAINABLE COFFEE CAPSULE THAT CAN BE COMPOSTED AT HOME, WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON FRESHNESS OR QUALITY.

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he coffee industry looks very different heading into 2021 than it did even just a year ago. COVID-19 has seen many people replacing their café runs with coffee made at home. David Alexander, National Account Controller at UCC Coffee UK and Ireland, says this has led to a surge in demand for

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retail coffee products, from roast and ground coffee bags to single-serve pods and capsules. “People’s working habits are evolving and the way in which we all consume [coffee] has changed, but our need for coffee each day hasn’t,” Alexander says. “When you’re consuming at home, you become much more aware of the waste you’re generating, so offering a fully sustainable option is becoming more and more important.” UCC Coffee’s operations in Europe include private label coffee capsule services, but over the last few years it has seen increasing demand for a sustainable alternative to single-use disposable capsules. “In the UK, sustainable options are now expected by consumers rather than being ‘nice to have’,” Alexander says. Finding the options already on the market lacking when it came to combining sustainability with coffee quality and freshness, UCC Coffee Europe set out to find its own sustainable coffee capsule solution. “Some companies, including UCC, have introduced aluminium capsules, which is a recyclable solution. However, only 20 to 30 per cent of these capsules are actually recycled by consumers, and the recycling process goes through various energy-consuming steps,” says Luigi Ceccarelli, R&D and Innovation Director for UCC Coffee. “At the end of the day, it’s a more environmentally friendly solution, but it’s not a complete solution.” While there were several compostable capsules available, the only ones that UCC found were high quality and reliable enough required industrial composting, something unavailable to most consumers throughout Europe. In places with access to industrial composting, many facilities still turn away capsules because they can’t tell what is and isn’t compostable. With this in mind, UCC Coffee turned its attention to how it could produce a home compostable capsule with a reliable and consistent performance. Using a unique top lid sealing technology that keeps coffee quality and freshness preserved, UCC Coffee has launched the EkoPod. EkoPod is certified ‘OK compost HOME’ by TÜV Austria, the European standard for compostable products. Just like an apple core, the Nespresso compatible capsules can be put straight into a home compost heap, food waste bin, or garden bin to decompose naturally. “EkoPod is certified to be biodegradable within one year in standard temperature and humidity conditions. It’s the ultimate environmentally friendly solution for people that want to impact less on the environment,” Ceccarelli says. “As well as being sustainable, this solution had to be a viable way to brew a good cup of coffee. Many existing home compostable capsules aren’t well protected from oxygen, so in most cases, the coffee you brew is stale. We spent two years fixing the technical limitations of this type of capsule.”


SUSTAINABILITY UCC

UCC Coffee’s new capsule lid is created using three different layers of cellulose – filter paper and cellulose film – and securely sealed through the application of pressure at a precise temperature, without the use of any chemicals. This means, unlike other compostable capsules, EkoPod is airtight – keeping coffee freshness locked in for up to nine months. “The top lid seal reliability was the biggest challenge we had to face on this pod. You do not want to add oil-based lacquers or chemicals and must rely on just temperature, pressure, and contact time in order to seal the lid on top of the body,” Ceccarelli says. “It is very difficult to find the right process combination of these three factors, and it took us a long time to do so. Now, we can guarantee 99.9 per cent of [our] capsules are well sealed.” UCC Coffee will begin the roll out of EkoPod with some of its longstanding partners, which have been involved in and followed the development of the home compostable EkoPod capsule. “Our customers have been very understanding and patient through this process. It’s been a long journey and we’re excited to launch EkoPod with those that have taken the journey with us,” Alexander says. “Ultimately, it’s also about giving the consumer a great in-cup experience and EkoPod can deliver on coffee quality as well as sustainable standards.” EkoPod forms a key part of UCC Coffee Europe’s overall sustainability strategy, which extends from the product’s end of life to how the coffee is sourced and grown. Alexander says coffee retailers have different priorities when it comes to sustainably, so it’s important UCC Coffee takes a holistic approach. “We look at not just the home compostability of these capsules, but the sustainability and transparency of the coffee going into them. For us, it’s about taking EkoPod and UCC’s general overview of sustainability and talking about their features and benefits to customers,” he says. “There are some retailers in the UK, for example, where certifications are not on their key list of priorities, while for others, it’s right up at the top. We need to understand each individual customer’s requirements.” Across Europe, particularly in the North, UCC Coffee has seen growing demand for certifications like Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, and Fairtrade. Ceccarelli says this comes from the same sustainable drive that pushed UCC to develop EkoPod. “Everybody is looking for more environmental solutions, and we expect more and more companies will embrace those options in the near future,” he says. With convenience the key reason for single serve coffee taking off over the last decade, Ceccarelli says EkoPod breaks the barrier stopping many people from using capsules. “Convenience is why consumers moved from traditional coffee to single serve, accepting it is more expensive per cup. But there is a large part of the market that is not considering buying capsules because they’re concerned about the impact on the environment. EkoPod eliminates this issue, making capsules an option for more consumers,” Ceccarelli says. “You should never forget, however, that consumers also buy a capsule because they want a consistent and superior coffee. “Anytime anyone has launched a solution that does not deliver a good in-cup end result, it has been a failure. This is where EkoPod succeeds.” G C R For more information, visit www.ucc-europe.com

“WE LOOK AT NOT JUST THE HOME COMPOSTABILITY OF THESE CAPSULES, BUT THE SUSTAINABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY OF THE COFFEE GOING INTO THEM. FOR US, IT’S ABOUT TAKING EKOPOD AND UCC’S GENERAL OVERVIEW OF SUSTAINABILITY AND TALKING ABOUT THEIR FEATURES AND BENEFITS TO CUSTOMERS.” David Alexander

National Account Controller at UCC Coffee UK

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DIARY Dashboard COFFEE COFFEE AROUND AROUND THE THE GLOBE GLOBE

GLOBAL COFFEE EVENTS

NCA VIRTUAL CONVENTION

UNITED STATES

3 – 5 MAR C H 2 02 1 The National Coffee Association Annual Convention is a premier event for professionals and executives in the US coffee market. With so many challenges facing the industry – from coffee and health to sustainability and the continued struggle of coffee farmers – collaboration, conversation, and education matter now more than ever. www.ncausa.org

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL

COFFEE EXPO 2021 MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

9 – 11 S E PTE M B E R 2 02 1 The Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) is known throughout the Asia-Pacific as the largest and most exciting dedicated coffee event. Each year, café owners, roasters, baristas, equipment manufacturers, service providers, and more gather at this trade-oriented event to network and do business. MICE2021 will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com

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THAIFEX-ANUGA ASIA

BANGKOK, THAILAND 2 5 – 2 9 MAY 2 02 1 Strong participation from the local community and international businesses from Poland, Indonesia, Italy, the United States, Korea, Norway, and Brazil reaffirms face-to-face interaction as irreplaceable for the F&B industry. www.thaifex-anuga.com

HOST MILANO MILAN, ITALY

22 – 26 OCTOBER Host Milano is a world-leading trade fair dedicated to the catering and hospitality sector that brings professionals together. It features the latest products and innovation in terms of equipment and raw materials, a busy schedule of events, and a suite of coffee and product competitions and awards. Host Milano will take place at Fieramilano. Its format combines vertical specialisation with supply chain affinity, offering an international overview of changes, consumption models, and new formats in the hospitality world. The 2021 event will mark the 42nd edition, with technology taking centre stage. host.fieramilano.it/en/


WORLD OF COFFEE

ATHENS, GREECE 24 – 2 6 J U N E 2 02 1 Travelling to a different European city every edition, World of Coffee is an essential event for coffee professionals – drawing a loyal audience from the global specialty coffee community. Organised by the Specialty Coffee Association, 2021’s event will host hundreds of exhibitors, several World Coffee Championships, and the Best New Product and Design Lab awards. www.worldofcoffee.org

SPECIALTY COFFEE EXPO

LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES 30 SEPTEMBER – 3 OCTOBER 2021 The Specialty Coffee Expo was designed to be the coffee professional’s one stop shop for everything they need to succeed in the coffee industry. As the industry’s standard setter, the SCA has built a solid reputation over the last 30 years of providing the most up to date, qualified information and providing members the tools to succeed. The 2021 event will feature Design Lab, an interactive exhibit concept, as well as the Best New Product competition, Certified Home Brewer display and Roaster Village, highlighting some of America’s best roasters. www.coffeeexpo.org

WORLD COFFEE PRODUCERS FORUM

KIGALI, RWANDA 14 – 15 J U LY 2 02 1 The third biennial World Coffee Producers Forum will unite coffee producers, industry leaders, and economists to address issues impacting the coffee value chain. Event organisers are expecting more than 1500 attendees from 40 coffee producing countries to participate in the event.

TAIWAN INTERNATIONAL COFFEE SHOW

TA I P E I, TA I WA N 19 – 22 NOVEMBER 2021 The Taiwan International Coffee Show brings together coffee and related products/services and is the country’s sole international and business-to-business coffee industry exhibition. In 2021, the events will host the World Latte Art Championship, World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship, and World Coffee Roasting Championship. www.chanchao.com.tw/coffee

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PRODUCTS Marketplace

BUENCAFÉ 100% COLOMBIAN COFFEE OIL Buencafé prides itself on innovation. Always striving for improvement, it has just launched a 100 per cent pure coffee oil, made from freshly roasted Colombian coffee beans. It is made through mechanical methods – extrusion and filtration – without additives or chemicals. Its flavour and pleasant smell are characteristic of roasted, natural, mild coffee. Thanks to its composition of fatty acids, mainly palmitic and linoleic ones, this coffee oil finds great uses in cosmetic products, such as scents, perfumes, and fragrances. For its emollient properties, it also has important applications in skin and hair care products, including sunscreens. It is provided in a practical plastic jerry can with screw cap for hermetic closing, and its shelf life is six months at a room temperature of 25°C. Buencafé is property of Colombian coffee growers, in whom it reinvests all its profits to improve their living conditions. For more information, visit www.buencafe.com

CAFETTO GRINDER CLEAN It’s important to regularly clean coffee grinders to remove stale coffee residue and odours that can impact coffee flavour. Coffee grinder maintenance has never been easier with Cafetto Grinder Clean, the convenient solution to keep grinders clean and improve grinder performance. With a one hundred per cent food safe formula certified by ACO and OMRI, Grinder Clean removes stale coffee particles that taint coffee flavour. One capful of Grinder Clean run through the grinder thoroughly cleans grinder burrs and casings, with no disassembly required. It’s the simple way to clean grinders, reduce blockages, extend the life of grinder burrs and, most importantly, make great tasting coffee. For more information, visit cafetto.com

FLAVOURTECH SCC100 Flavourtech is proud to announce its newest member of the Spinning Cone Column (SCC) family, the SCC100. For some time, Flavourtech customers have requested a pilot-scale SCC to assist with their R&D work in flavour recovery applications. The SCC100 has a throughput of 40 to 100 litres per hour and is ideal for use in the laboratory, pilot plant or even small production runs. By adjusting certain operating conditions, it is possible to achieve multiple flavour profiles from the same raw material assisting customers with product development needs. The SCC100 is capable of processing liquid products such as coffee or tea extract, fruit juice, milk and botanical extracts. It has an easy to use touchscreen, is very compact, and has lockable castors. The system has also been designed so that it can be quickly assembled, operated and maintained by the user. For more information, visit www.flavourtech.com

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HUSKEECUP

HuskeeCup features coffee husk as a raw material, which is an organic waste product from the milling stage of coffee production. The award-winning reusable cup can also be used in the home or café as a more durable alternative to ceramic and glass. Available in six, eight, and 12 ounces, with a universal lid or saucer, HuskeeCup is a passport to Huskee’s closed-loop cup exchange HuskeeSwap. For more information, visit huskee.co

EGRO NEXT TOUCH COFFEE Egro Next Touch Coffee is the latest-generation fully automatic designed for drip coffee. The multi-hopper system offers four different base coffees, always ready to brew and create up to 10 different blends. The coffee is ground and prepared instantly upon order, without any waste, to guarantee the unique taste and aroma of each coffee bean in every cup. No more stale coffee in big carafes, Next Touch Coffee is faster than a traditional drip coffee maker and brews only what’s selling, with no recovery time. Swipe, tap, and scroll with ease through the coffee menu. It’s as easy as using your smartphone, with all preferences and drink selections at your fingertips. Next Touch Coffee is a practical and convenient solution, reduces labour and maintenance costs, and simplifies cleaning operations. It can also be configured with customisable modular options, business-focused IoT innovations, and a range of payment systems. Egro Next Touch Coffee meets the various needs of convenience stores, petrol stations, fastfood and self-service restaurants, and all venues serving drip coffee. Recommended output is 200 cups per day. For more information, visit www.ranciliogroup.com/egro-brand

UCC COFFEE EKOPOD UCC Coffee has launched its first Nespresso compatible home compostable capsule, independently certified ‘OK compost HOME’ by TÜV Austria – the European standard for compostable products. Due to its unique top lid sealing technology, the EkoPod is unlike other compostable capsules currently on the market. It is airtight, guaranteeing freshness and a superior cup of coffee for up to nine months, without using any plastics at all. Available in five colours, the private label EkoPod helps retailers meet surging demand for Nespresso compatible pods, while giving customers a more consumer-friendly, sustainable way to dispose of capsules at home. The EkoPod can be put straight into a home compost heap, food waste bin, or garden waste bin to decompose naturally – just like an apple core, making it easy for consumers to enjoy the convenience of capsules without harming the planet. For more information, visit www.ucc-europe.com

JA N UA R Y /FE B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 | GCR

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LAST WORD MICE2021

Mark your calendars MANY WILL TREAT 2021 AS A YEAR TO GET BACK TO BUSINESS, AND FOR THE COFFEE INDUSTRY, THE MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COFFEE EXPO IN SEPTEMBER WILL BE THE BEST CHANCE TO DO IT.

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ew would have anticipated the twists and turns that 2020 took thanks to COVID-19. While it was a turbulent year, a vaccine being widely distributed within the first half of 2021 is becoming less of a hope and more of a reality. Embracing the theme ‘Back to Business’, the 2021 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE2021) will provide a platform for the return to important face-to-face interaction, business, and connection to the coffee industry. The Southern Hemisphere’s largest coffee-dedicated event will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia from 9 to 11 September. “COVID-19 has cast a heavy shadow over 2020 for many people, but 2021 is already looking to be a better and brighter year,” says Show Director Lauren Winterbottom. “Face-to-face trade expos and interaction will be more important than ever as the industry seeks a return to normality and the sense of connection lost over an occasional Zoom call.” The coffee industry is already getting behind MICE2021, with about two thirds of exhibition space already sold out. “We’ve been humbled to see the volume of returning exhibitors and are excited by the prospect of new business also,” Winterbottom says. MICE2021 will see the return of several of its most popular features and attractions, including Roasters and Origin Alley, the Product innovation Awards, and Melbourne Coffee Week. “As much as we aim to support the industry, MICE couldn’t happen if the community didn’t support us back, especially our sponsors – St Ali, Freedom Foods, Espresso Mechanics, and Cafetto – who stood by us through COVID-19,” Winterbottom says. It’s “Back to Business” with the return of MICE from 9 to 11 September. Salvatore Malatesta, CEO and Creative Director of St Ali Coffee Roasters, says MICE2021 will be a chance to show “we’re still here, still fighting through, and still being each other’s biggest fans supporting hospitality and local businesses”. “We love MICE, and the cancellation of the 2020 event really saddened us at St Ali, so getting involved again was a no-brainer. But also, we wanted to support the what the event represents: not so much a return to normal, but to an ‘almost normal’– and that’s something we think the entire industry is yearning for,” Malatesta says. MICE is Australia’s largest and most exciting dedicated coffee event. Established in 2012, MICE launched as a place for the coffee community to facilitate business under the one roof and showcase the best of Australia’s contribution to the global coffee industry. The event attracts more than 11,000 attendees, connecting café owners, roasters, equipment manufacturers, service suppliers, and more. Espresso Mechanics, part of the wider Suntory Coffee business, has participated in MICE for years. As one of the largest equipment and service providers in Australia and New Zealand, it shares

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exclusive relationships with Victoria Arduino, Nuovo Simonelli, and Rex Royal. “MICE is the key event for the coffee industry in our part of the world,” says Dean Divehall, Suntory Coffee Chief Executive Officer. “For many years, we’ve invested in the event in order to showcase our equipment innovation, build awareness of our equipment brands, and connect with the industry.” Carly D’Agostino, Sales, Installations & Marketing Coordinator at Espresso Mechanics adds that MICE provides the industry with a

platform to understand and share the latest innovation in the market. “Besides learning about the new trends in the industry, these events give us the opportunity to build relationships within our industry but also listen to direct feedback from customers,” D’Agostino says. “Coffee is all about creating connections, and what better way to do this then participating in an event like MICE?” G C R For more information, visit internationalcoffeeexpo.com



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