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Tecnomeccanica Signs Agreement with Acma S.p.A.

The Bologna-based company Tecnomeccanica S.r.l., owned by the Romagnoli family and engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of tea and herbal tea bag packaging machines, has signed an agreement with the company Acma S.p.A., subsidiary of Coesia S.p.A., an Italian group that manufactures packaging machines for cigarettes, foods and chemicals, aimed at strengthening Tecnomeccanica's future development. Under the terms of the agreement, Acma is to acquire a significant stake in Tecnomeccanica with a goal of supporting the their growth over the coming years.

The industrial, commercial and financial synergies created by this alliance will allow Tecnomeccanica to broaden its horizons on the development front and tackle the challenge of growing in an increasingly competitive global market as part of a solid, well-organized group with an international reputation for the technological leadership of its products.

Tecnomeccanica's state-of-the-art teabag packaging machines fit perfectly into the Coesia Group's hi-tech product range and will allow Acma to enter a new business characterized by the technological excellence and high added value of the products. For more information, visit www.tecnomeccanica.bo.it.

Elan Organic Coffees Recognized for Growth

Elan Organic Coffees announces it is the recent recipient of several business awards recognizing its rapid growth. First on the list is the Inner City 100, an award presented by Inc. magazine and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to the fastest-growing urban businesses. With growth of nearly 200% in 2006, Elan ranked 70th. This is the second year Elan has earned a spot on the list. For the third year in a row, Elan was also recognized as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal and by the same publication, Elan also placed on the Top 50 Fastest Growing Women Owned Companies in San Diego. The company has also been nominated for San Diego World Trade Center ’s (SDWTC) Importer of the Year.

Elan has grown, on average, 46% annually over the last 6 years. Specializing in certified organically shade-grown coffees, the company’s CEO, Karen Cebreros, attributes much of the success to continued consumer interest and demand for natural foods: “When I started the business in 1989, there was a bourgeoning interest in natural and organic products, but the industry wasn’t yet developed so I started working directly with farmers and coops to make it happen while simultaneously working with my roaster clients to build the market on their end.” She concludes by saying, “the most satisfying part of earning these awards is the fact that we’re still growing nearly twenty years after we started. That encourages us to continue to do what we’re doing…there is more room to grow.” For more information, visit www.elanorganic.com.

Counter Culture Coffee Opens Training Center

Counter Culture Coffee opened a new Regional Training Center in Washington, DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood at 1836 Columbia Road NW. The center will serve as a regional focal point for Counter Culture’s cutting-edge coffee education and training program for culinary professionals, grocery specialists, baristas and home coffee enthusiasts. In addition, the center will host regional Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) training seminars and open its doors to the public every Friday at 10:00 a.m. for a weekly coffee “cupping,” a century-old method of tasting and evaluating coffee akin to a wine tasting.

“This is an exciting step for us. Washington already boasts an impressive and engaged coffee community, and we’re enthusiastic about becoming a part of the region’s growing, diverse culinary landscape,” said Brett Smith, president and co-founder of Counter Culture Coffee. “In Washington, as we’ve seen in other cities, there has been an increasing interest in coffee’s origins, the craft of the barista and coffee’s increasing role in sophisticated, elegant cuisine.” Counter Culture’s ongoing education and training program includes a variety of labs, classes and seminars taught by the roaster’s team of experienced coffee specialists.  Current classes include Beginning Espresso, Intermediate Espresso, Coffee Extraction, Comparative Cupping and History, Buying & Origins. More details about the education program, including registration information, may be found in the Education section of www.counterculturecoffee.com.

“We hope that our training center will not only become a valuable and useful resource for Washington’s food and beverage professionals, but also a hub of knowledge and community for the metro area’s growing population of passionate coffee consumers,” said Peter Giuliano, Counter Culture’s co-owner and director of coffee. “Our public coffee cuppings have been a great success at our Atlanta, Durham, and Charlotte training centers, and we hope for the same level of interest in Washington.”  For more information, visit www.counterculturecoffee.com.

Global Partnership Brings Results to Coffee Sector

The Common Code for the Coffee Community, in popular speech referred to as 4C, announced its first visible and measurable results in improving social, environmental and economic conditions of the coffee sector. Already 3.5% of the global coffee supply is produced under 4C criteria and the first 4C coffee will be traded on the international market from October onwards. The 4C Association, representing more than 50% of the world coffee sector, is now ready to set annual targets for continuous improvements and to increase the share of coffee produced under 4C.

The 4C Association addresses millions of coffee producers to benefit from the social, environmental and economic improvements stimulated by the 4C concept: protection of biodiversity, increased efficiency along the supply chain, the commitment of major industry companies to buy increasing amounts of 4C coffee over time and better social conditions on coffee farms. The efficient production and processing of coffee, combined with respect for the social and environmental conditions in producing areas, form the basis for improving the situation and livelihoods of coffee producers and workers worldwide. 4C’s incentives and support services command improved transparency and efficiency, as the initial results now show.  

Producers in key producing countries like Brazil, Vietnam, Uganda, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Kenya and Colombia are being verified under the 4C. Today, this coffee already amounts to 4.4 Million bags, representing 3.5% of the world’s coffee production. In only 10 months, membership in the 4C Association has increased by more than 70%, following with the assembly of the 37 founding members of the most important coffee producers and organizations, companies and NGOs. Currently, the 4C Association represents 54% of the global coffee production as well as the largest trading houses, roasters and soluble manufacturers worldwide.

The 4C Association has set ambitious annual targets for growth and outreach. For the new coffee year 2007/2008, 4C will increase membership in all categories by 50%, offer at least 50 training courses for coffee producers and partners in 12 countries, offer 4C verification services in at least 15 countries and increase the 4C support network with new partners from public and private side. By 2015, 50% of the global coffee production shall meet the criteria defined by 4C. For more information, visit www.sustainable-coffee.net.

Migros Switches to Utz Certified

Migros, the largest retailer in Switzerland, aims for a sustainable coffee range. Their espresso range is the first product group to be sourced from Utz Certified coffee growers. With this step, Migros takes its social and environmental responsibility while maintaining their high quality standard. Migros is the first Swiss roaster to offers their customers the transparency provided by the Utz certification program with an online coffee tracer.

“The traceability and independent auditing assured in the Utz Certified program are two main reasons for our cooperation with this world wide certification scheme,” says Johann Zueblin, Head of Standards and Social Compliance for Migros. “Usually, coffee is traded via London and New York Board of Trade. This trade system is not equipped to give information about the exact origin, production methods and the social and environmental activities. With Utz Certified we do have this information and we are able to provide our customers with this transparency”. The EurepGAP benchmarked Utz Certified works with independent auditing by ISO 65 accredited certifiers and therefore offers a credible, high level of assurance.

Karin Heierli, Category Manager Migros for Coffee, adds: “Because of the wide variety of Utz Certified origins, we are able to maintain the high quality standard that our customers expect. In addition to taste, we are now also able to assure sustainable growing methods, with care for the people and environment involved. The coffee growers even share the story behind their coffee via our coffee tracer!” Migros has now launched their Espresso range with the Utz trust mark, a total quantity of approximately one million kilo green coffee from different origins, and will review possible implementation of the Utz standard for their other coffees. For more information, visit www.utzcertified.org.


In the article that appeared in our July, 2007 issue, entitled “Decaffeinator Round-Up 2007” an estimate of total capacity for the decaffeination facility operated by Demus, SpA was provided. Due to translation, this number proved to be incorrect as it is too low, according to the company’s president, Dr. Max Fabian, who also noted “In general, however, it is not the policy of Demus, SpA. to provide estimates of its plant’s capacity.”

To submit a press release or for further information on Tea & Coffee's Trade News, please contact editor@teaandcoffee.net.

Tea & Coffee - December, 2007

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