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Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines

Coffee Companies Try To Lift Spirits at “Ground Zero”

New York - Within days following the attacks on September 11th, SCAA past president, David Dallis and his wife Martha of Dallis Brothers Coffee were part of a multi-organization effort, including several New York-based SCAA members, to provide food and coffee to workers at “ground zero” in New York City. The Red Cross initially estimated they would need 72,000 pounds of coffee over 6 months. Dallis contacted SCAA to ask that coffee donations be solicited from SCAA members. A broadcast fax was sent to SCAA members and the phones began ringing immediately. Over 5,000 pounds of coffee was committed within 24 hours.

By the end of October, 44 SCAA members had pledged over 18,000 pounds of coffee and 10,382 pounds of coffee had been scheduled for shipment. Donors include roasters, producers, and allied members. Coffee pledges range from a generous 25 pounds to a whopping 2,200 pounds of coffee. Pledges have come from members in 22 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, plus from international members in Canada and Mexico.

The program, called Coffee Cares, is being coordinated with the New York Hospitality Industry and is working in conjunction with the American Red Cross, Office of Emergency Management, the Office of the Mayor of New York City, City Harvest, NYC & Co., and Windows of Hope to provide “coffee breaks” for the 20,000 recovery and relief workers in New York City. These are fire, police and EMT personnel, as well as the construction workers, emergency volunteers and bereavement center support staffs. A complete list of coffee donors are available at www.scaa.org.

ICO Implements Coffee Quality Program
London - At its recent meeting at the headquarters of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London, the International Coffee Council spoke on its latest report on the market situation for coffee. The report confirms that the current situation of very low prices is leading to severe economic and social problems in a growing number of coffee producing countries, and concerns over coffee quality in consuming countries. The Council recognized that one possible way to address this problem was through a quality improvement program and the establishment of a Quality Committee to devise rules to facilitate measures for the withdrawal from the market of defective coffee beans and those with a moisture content above a permitted level.

The Quality Committee will be composed of four importing members and four exporting members.

The Council also approved three new projects in principle designed to benefit the coffee sector in West Africa.

BM&F Coffee Trade Affected by Attacks in New York
Brazil - Brazil’s physical coffee market virtually came to a standstill immediately following the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, reports the Gazeta Mercantil. The attacks totally destroyed the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange (CSCE) trading floor.

Futures operations involving coffee and other commodities in the U.S. were resumed in Long Island City, New York, shortly afterwards.

The trading volume on the coffee futures market in Brazil - the world’s largest producer and exporter - fell the day after the tragedy, although the Commodities & Futures Exchange (BM & F) in Sao Paulo became the only option for those operating with arabica coffee - the country’s main variety. Only 809 contracts were registered that day, well below the previous day’s 2,159 and the daily average for the month, 1,927.

Third Brazil “Cup of Excellence” Held
Brazil - Recently the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) held its third Cup of Excellence on October 23-25, in Campinas.

The purpose of the Cup of Excellence, which started in 1999, is to source the highest quality coffee and reward the farmers who produce it.

The program consists of an international juried competition followed by the Internet auction of the winning coffees. Most important is the competition, which has identified new areas where the highest quality coffee is grown within a country. The Cup of Excellence provides an opportunity for even the smallest growers - those who would not normally have a way to bring their coffees to market - to present coffees during the competition.

The criteria for judging coffees brought to the competition requires experienced cuppers. This year, 385 coffee samples were submitted to be reviewed and cupped by a selected national jury of Brazilian coffee experts. Out of that group, 47 were selected to be cupped and judged by an international jury of 20 experts representing the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Brazil.

With coffee prices at an all time low, the Cup of Excellence is able to

contract the best possible price for quality coffees. Marcelo Vieira, president of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association, said, “the Cup of Excellence program provides a new marketing channel that gives a fair return to producers and allows for trading directly with roasters and retailers. ”

Tea & Coffee - December/January 2002
Theta Ridge Coffee


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