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Modern Process Equipment

Looking Forward by Thinking Back

Welcome to the New Year. Even as a child of the 80s, the year 2010 sounded like flying cars and robots. And while I wont be taking a trip to Mars this year as I might have hoped for when I was little, I can still appreciate how far we’ve come.

Not much more than 100 years ago, the coffee and tea industries were gearing up to experience the transition from manual to mechanized labor. The advent of harvesting equipment and processing machinery, the speed and efficiency at which the product can be cultivated and prepared for export…the concept of farming was forever changed.

And what would our futures look like without the advancements of the 20th century? Electronic and technological innovations that completely redefined the way information is distributed and received. This crazy little concept called the World Wide Web linked virtually anyone, from anywhere, on to one common network to form the planet’s largest “community.” Tea and coffee legislation became available to anyone who searched for it, prices were updated up to the minute, information was exchanged and conversations invoked. The Internet had made our global industries seem much smaller.

Keeping in mind that Tea & Coffee Trade Journal has been around since 1901, there is a certain duty I feel to stay true to our historic roots, while welcoming change and embracing the evolution of the tea, coffee and publishing industries. For those who continue to prefer flipping through pages rather than clicking a mouse, the magazine will continue to be reliably mailed to your front door, awaiting your perusal during your morning cup of coffee (or tea!). This issue we are launching our Columns Page (see pg. 12), as an outlet for individuals, associations and companies to report on topics that are timely and significant…my take on a modern day “blog,” for those loyal to our print edition.

It is a slippery slope trying to bridge the generational gap. Your company must be accessible to those who prefer to do things “the old fashion way,” as well as those who can successfully navigate our digital world. You must straddle the line of trendy and cutting edge while maintaining your non-intimidating, user-friendly reputation. And whether you succeed or struggle with processing the orders you receive through email, from your smart phone, via fax, by snail mail and every other method of conducting business in today’s age, it is important to stay savvy.

As the first issue of the new year, I’ve compiled a selection features that focus on “what’s to come.” Melissa Pugash speaks with some of coffee’s most tuned-in individuals about what they see for the upcoming decade (pg. 16) while Joe Simrany and Pearl Dexter discuss how we put the “tea” in IT (information technology) in the 2010 Tea Market Forecast (pg. 30). The future of the packaging, flavor and syrup industries are also addressed.

Alexis Rubinstein


Tea & Coffee - January, 2010

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