Brazil’s International Coffee Week

If Brazil is the giant of the coffee world, then the state of Minas Gerais is its beating heart. As the nation’s leading coffee producing area, Minas Gerais is responsible for 51 per cent of the Brazilian harvest. To put the scale of its production into perspective, if Minas Gerais were a country, it would be the largest coffee producer in the world. On average, 25 million bags are picked per year in Minas Gerais, coming from fields spread over 1.1 million hectares. So it makes sense that Brazil’s largest event focused on coffee’s production chain, International Coffee Week (ICW), is held there. Held in Minas Gerais since 2013, the focus of ICW is the development of the Brazilian market and demonstrating the quality of Brazilian coffees to domestic consumers and purchasing countries, in addition to strengthening the economic and social results of the sector. This year the event is being held in October to better align the schedule with the end of the coffee harvest in Brazil, and at the same time to contribute strategically during a period of great purchasing and selling of quality beans, and to coincide with the calendars of international coffee fairs and the trips of the main buyers. International Coffee Week is an initiative of the FAEMG System, Café Editora, Codemig, Sebrae and the Minas Gerais Government, through the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of the State of Minas Gerais (Seapa). To be held from 25 to 27 October 2017 at Expominas in Belo Horizonte, ICW will bring together the entire production chain of the national and international coffee sector, favouring the socially and economically sustainable growth of the Brazilian product. The meeting will involve coffee growers, roasters, classifiers, exporters, buyers, suppliers, business owners, baristas, coffee shop owners and coffee lovers. Running to the theme of “Your coffee journey begins in Brazil”, ICW presents the beginning of the coffee journey in Brazil to the international public and potential buyers of Brazilian coffees. One of the main objectives of International Coffee Week is to promote the coffee producing regions of Minas Gerais and Brazil. During the event, in Belo Horizonte, cupping tables and competitions are held gathering samples of the best grains picked in the new harvest. Setting this event apart is the broad programming of simultaneous events, meetings, seminars, courses, competitions and cupping sessions, split into three themes: Market & Consumption, Knowledge & Innovation and Business & Entrepreneurship. The events themselves are varied, but very strategically targeted towards the key areas of focus for attendees and the industry in general. For three days, producers, roasters, baristas, specialists and consumers will learn market news at Espaço Café Brasil, the largest Brazilian fair in the sector, which is now in its 12th edition and will select the best Brazilian coffee of this harvest in the Coffee of the Year Brazil competition. Espaço Café Brasil is the business platform for the coffee market, and will be held in an dedicate exhibition area with attractions targeted to farmers, cooperatives, roasters, exporters, retailers, entrepreneurs, food service, baristas and consumers. In 2016, there were 155 exhibiting brands, which attracted 14,000 professionals and stakeholders, generating almost US$8 million in business during the event. Coffee DNA 2017 is a symposium with meetings of players in the Brazilian and international coffee chains to discuss trends, challenges and actions for the future of the global coffee market. Meetings are held in roundtable format, with mediators and representatives from diverse sectors. The Sustainable Agriculture Forum will bring together the main sector professionals to discuss actions in coffee cultivation and the next steps for sustainable development in future generations. Brazil, as the largest producer and exporter of coffee in the world, has in its domestic agriculture an example for the international market of sustainability in its productive chain. The Model Coffee Shop is aimed at the food service market, featuring technical training for entrepreneurs and guidance in business planning. It also offers practical workshops with respected Brazilian professionals about the preparation of espressos and drinks, coffee with milk, roasting, tastings and the most diverse preparation methods for the drink. The Producers’ Meeting at the Café and Forte program will bring together producers and technicians who participate in the program, which transfers technology to the areas of management and costs, improving the manageability of coffee growers in Minas Gerais. The Educampo Café Meeting will provide a forum for technicians to discuss matters related to the methodology of Educampo, a program developed by Sebrae. The project offers permanent and assisted training to producers and allows the adoption of better management and technical practices, according to the availability of resources on their properties. Meanwhile, the Cupping and Business Room will present samples of Brazilian coffees from the current harvest that are sent by producers from all over Brazil. Also being held as part of ICW is the Coffee of the Year competition, whereby the 10 best coffees are tasted by the public and the most voted for is chosen as the best Brazilian coffee from this harvest. The award will be announced on 27 October. Another competition being held during ICW is the Barista Cup, giving coffee professionals the chance to compete in the preparation of espressos, cappuccinos and filtered coffees. The Brazilian Chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance will hold an annual meeting during the week to discuss the main steps for action of the group. The Alliance is made up of coffee producers, entrepreneurs and baristas. Roasters will also be given the opportunity to develop their skills, with theoretical and practical courses on coffee roasting and aspects of micro-roastery management at the Torra Lab. While the schedule for the week itself is packed with activity, the programming for International Coffee Week will actually get started a month before with an itinerary of coffee shops from Coffee of the Week. From 25 September to 4 November, more than 20 coffee shops in the city will be presented to customers, with various preparation methods and coffees from the five major producing regions in Minas Gerais (Cerrado Mineiro, Mantiqueira de Minas, Sul de Minas, Matas de Minas and Chapada de Minas). GCR

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