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Blaser Coffee Hosts Roaster/Producer Forum.

Low market prices = low quality? This was the question provoked by B laser Trading at the B laser Coffee Event held in Berne, Switzerland, earlier this year.

Over 150 people from all over the world were attracted by either the interesting topic of the current market situation or the rich program it was to offer. Over 100 roasters, mainly from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but also from Spain, France and Austria, had the opportunity to discuss with a delegates from Brazil, including representatives of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) and many other people from the coffee business -- for example, agents and coffee consultants.

Friday afternoon began with an open house tour through Blaser Cafe's roasting plant and trading office. Markus Blaser, c.e.o. of Blaser Trading and Blaser Cafe then welcomed the audience by pointing out the importance of a mutual understanding between producers in any origin and importers or roasters.

Several members of the managing board at Blaser then presented the company's profile and philosophy. The family-based company, founded in 1992, emphasized its traditional engagement in the physical market and its intention to strengthen their relationship with producers. For Blaser this is the only way to ensure and secure high quality coffee, especially in low market times such as these. Towards this end, Blaser has been cultivating a tight cooperation with the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) for the past couple of years, and is therefore a frequent buyer and trader of Brazil Specialty Coffee. Blaser also is a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE), the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Caffe Speciality Certificati (CSC), all institutions pursuing the target of a development of high quality coffee.

Friday evening, all guests were invited to a gala dinner at the famous Bellevue Palace Hotel in Berne, where people had time to exchange opinions and experiences.

On Saturday morning, the official Blaser coffee workshop was opened by a presentation of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) by its president, Marcelo Vieira. BSCA's objective is to bring together producers of specialty coffees and to promote Brazilian specialty coffees, while stimulating constant technical improvement and more efficient services during their commercialization. The purpose is to obtain standards of excellence for Brazilian coffees offered to the international market through research and quality control techniques. During the presentation, relevant information and promotional samples were distributed. In addition, degustation tests were done to demonstrate the quality of its member companies' specialty coffees.

Right after the BSCA, the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) was presented by Samuel Zenger, member of the board and president of the Swiss Chapter. One of the SCAE's goals is to set bylaws and commitments on a European level according to which every member has to act. Of course there are national traditions of each member country to be respected (Country Chapters) and therefore many different ways to create a good cup of coffee. To perform a perfect coffee product, the whole chain from planters to private consumers has to be involved and represented in the SCAE in order to exchange information and permanently develop the quality of coffee.

Christian B. Wolthers from Blaser & Wolthers Specialty Coffee Trading Co. in Miami, Florida, and a member of the board of directors for the SCAA then related the history of the specialty coffee industry in the U.S. He explained that the actual trends in the Specialty Coffee Industry indicate the growth of estate coffees. The audience learned that the U.S., dark roasted coffee to some extent as well as flavored and decaf maintain market share, but the cold and frozen coffee-based smoothies and frapuccinos are still growing enormously.

Enrico Meschini, president of the Caffe Speciali Certificati (CSC) of Italy, then spoke on coffee certification processes through judgement of the whole procedure from the origin to the end consumer for its members.

Subsequent to this presentation, a roundtable lead by Adelio Bemini (director of Blaser Trading) showed several new aspects on the topic of specialiy coffees, all of them focusing on the same target of improving quality.

Saturday afternoon was dedicated to enjoying the beauty of the Swiss landscape. An authentic Swiss evening of Swiss folk music, a powerful carnival group and, of course, Swiss food brought the interesting and excited Blaser Coffee Event to an end.

Marc Kaeppeli is a member of the managing board of Blaser Trading AG.
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Article Details
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Author:Kaeppeli, Marc
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EXSI
Date:Oct 20, 2001
Words:735
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