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Sara Lee To Acquire Prima
Sara Lee/DE, headquartered in The Netherlands, has signed an agreement to buy the Polish coffee business, Prima S.A. The final transaction is expected to be completed in December of this year.

"This acquisition reinforces Sara Lee's coffee position in the Central European region, where it already holds leading positions in Hungary and the Czech Republic," said C. Steven McMillan, chairman, president and c.e.o. of Sara Lee Corp. "With the addition of Prima S.A., we now have a very strong distribution network that will help drive our growth in Central Europe."

Sara Lee is the third largest retail coffee roaster in the U.S., the second-largest retail and foodservice coffee roaster in Europe, the largest foodservice coffee roaster in the U.S. and the largest coffee roaster in Brazil. Its brands include Chock full o'Nuts, Hills Bros., and MJB in the United States; Douwe Egberts, Maison du Cafe and Marcilla in Europe; and, Uniao, Caboclo and Cafe do Ponto in Brazil.

Prima, a subsidiary of Drie Mollen Holding B.V., is one of the largest coffee producers in Poland, with an 18% share of the Polish retail market, according to Sara Lee. Prima Niebieska, the company's best-selling coffee variety, holds a number one position in the Polish retail coffee market, with a 15.5% market share.

Birth of the British Coffee Association
The British Coffee Association (BCA) was launched recently to represent coffee manufacturers throughout the U.K. The new organizations will bring a representative voice for the industry and is the result of a merger between the British Soluble Coffee Manufacturers' Association (BSCMA) and the Roast and Ground Coffee Association (RGCA)

The BCA's principal activities will include providing information about the manufacture, distribution and consumption of coffee, serve as a forum for discussion of industry matters and providing statements on key topics.

The U.K. coffee market is valued at 643.8m, the large majority of which is produced by BCA members.

Dr. Euan Paul has been appointed as executive director if the new organization. Commenting on his new role, Dr. Paul said:

"The launch of the BCA brings a new focus to our industry's profile and I am delighted to be involved in its direction and development. We aim to provide an informative and helpful service for our members, the media and consumers of our products."

A dedicated communications arm, the BCA Information Service will ensure relevant, interesting and useful information about coffee is available to a wide audience.

Tea & Coffee - November/December 2001


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