Eastern Exposure

The World Tea and Coffee Expo is the only international exhibition on tea and coffee in India. Having started in 2013, the expo has become a fixture on the region’s coffee calendar, providing the perfect environment for the hot beverage industry to meet face-to-face and develop real business opportunities. A burgeoning café culture is driving growth for the coffee and tea segments in the world’s largest democracy. This growth is also evident in the strength of the ready-to-drink market, with growing affluence fueling the development of a new market that demands both quality and convenience and is prepared to pay for it. There is also a strong trend in India towards health consciousness, which is driving competition within the industry and leading to the development of new and exciting products to keep up with this consumer awareness. This year there were more than 50 exhibitors demonstrating their wares at the World Tea and Coffee Expo to more than 3200 visitors from Europe and Asia. Attendees came from six countries in total – Vietnam, Italy, Sri Lanka, Germany, the UK and India. The expo offers huge potential for important connections and partnerships to be made in India’s flourishing coffee industry. Attendees focused on seeking out distributors, striking up bulk order relationships, as well as exploring joint venture and franchising opportunities, networking, knowledge-sharing, meeting government officials, forming marketing alliances and boosting their company’s overall branding. In order to assist with this, the organisers of the World Tea and Coffee Expo ran a business-to-business matchmaking service, facilitating the meeting of businesses at all stages of the production process with the intention of helping attendees and exhibitors achieve concrete outcomes for their businesses. Exclusive Pavilions from the Sri Lankan Tea Board, the Tea Board of India and participation from the Coffee Board of India meant attendees were able to interact with local government and business representatives at the highest level. The expo was also fortunate to play host to four guests of honour, who opened the event on 1 October. These guests were: Vietnam’s Vice Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Vu Van Tam; Sri Lanka’s Consul General, Ms Saroja Sirisena; Economic Advisor to the Indian Merchants’ Chamber, Mr G. Chandrashekhar; and the Chairman of Kotak Commodities, Mr Suresh Kotak. The World Tea and Coffee Expo featured high-level conferences and workshops to determine trends in the industry and look at the best ways to capitalise on those trends. The sessions also examined issues relating to the sector – addressing challenges and highlighting opportunities, while also imparting useful skills for attendees to take away and use in their own businesses. One of the highlights of the many workshops was a session run by Chef Yogesh Utekar, Head of Department at Sheila Raheja Institute of Hotel Management, teaching about the usage of tea and coffee in main courses and also on tea and coffee service etiquette. In addition to the coffee and tea industries themselves, a range of complementary industries, such as packaging, machinery, retail chains and manufacturers of related accessories and technologies were also in attendance. GCR

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