Profiles

GCR Leaders Symposium focuses on Asia

With a population sitting comfortably at more than 4 billion people, Asia covers an impressive 30 per cent of the world’s surface, and is home to more than half of the people living on the planet. The economies in many of these countries – including the most populous of India and China, which count 2.5 billion people between them – are seeing a rising middle class, albeit at different levels. Rising incomes means more dollars to spend and, fortunately for this industry, coffee has developed an aspirational status in many of these markets. Following on from the success of the 2013 Global Coffee Review Leaders Symposium which made its debut in Melbourne, we’ll be bringing the event to Singapore this March. Pairing up with the Café Asia/ICT Expo event, we’ll be offering regional business leaders the chance to learn about and discuss the nuances of a select number of these markets, and explore what opportunities lie ahead for growth. With a few exceptions, most Asian markets can be considered as “emerging coffee markets”, that is countries that are predominantly tea-drinkers. In this regard, instant coffee is often the first introduction to coffee drinking, thanks to its low price point and limited need for equipment. Few could argue this hasn’t rung true in Asia, with the growth in instant coffee consumption in emerging coffee markets credited for the strength that Robusta prices have seen in recent times. In addition to looking at trends and opportunities in instant coffee, the Global Coffee Review Leaders Symposium Singapore will also explore the recent trends of coffee chains opening in Asia. Since Starbucks opened its first store in Taiwan in March 1998, and mainland China in 1999, the US-origin coffee chain currently has more than 1000 stores in 60 cities. Since opening its first store in India in October of 2012, Starbucks already has 31 stores across that country. With the opening of two Starbucks locations in Vietnam, it would seem the American coffee chain, which has helped develop coffee cultures the globe over, has its sights firmly set on this booming market. The Global Coffee Review Leaders Symposium will welcome representatives of coffee chains who are similarly eyeing expansion in Asia. While coffee chains are taking their share of the market, the specialty coffee industry – characterised by independent coffee shops – is quietly making its mark in these emerging coffee countries. In an exclusive to the Global Coffee Review Leaders Symposium, this session will look at the role of specialty coffee in acting as a driver for greater coffee consumption as a whole. The session will welcome leaders in the specialty coffee segment that will draw links between what has typically been considered two separate segments – mass coffee consumption and the pointy end of specialty. With coffee prices reaching new lows, the session on coffee prices will revisit the coffee price crises at the turn of the millennium, to look at lessons learned, and what is relevant in today’s market. The session will also draw the link between sustainably certified coffee, and the role that certification schemes play in the current volatile price environment.  The day will conclude with an informative session on taking the information of the day and applying it to the day-to-day business of serving quality coffee. The session, entitled Coffee Service, will enforce the importance of a quality product in a business’s service. Although there has never been a better time to take advantage of business opportunities, an uncertain global economic environment makes the importance of informed business practices increasingly relevant. The Global Coffee Review Leaders Symposium Singapore is the ideal professional development opportunity to provide this context. For tickets, please contact Steve Roberts Steve.Roberts@primecreative.com.au

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