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Introducing MICE’s GCR Breakfast Symposium

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The Melbourne International Coffee Expo introduces the GCR Breakfast Symposium, a discussion series examining key issues in the coffee industry.

A new element is coming to the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) in 2024, adding an educational layer to Oceania’s leading coffee trade show.

This year, the event will feature the Global Coffee Report (GCR) Breakfast Symposium, inviting guests to attend a series of panel discussions that will tackle a range of important topics in the Australian coffee landscape.

“We can’t wait to bring the symposium to the expo this year,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Chartres. “It’s been a long time in the making, and we think people are going to appreciate it.”

The discussions will take place on the two expo trade days, 13 and 14 May, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Tickets are required to access the symposium, which will also allow early entry to the expo.

GCR Managing Editor Sarah Baker will moderate the four talks, each with a panel of speakers. The sessions will be designed to unpack key issues and themes applicable to the coffee industry. It will present an opportunity for attendees to listen and absorb the knowledge presented from leading industry experts. Equally, audience participation is encouraged, with guests invited to address questions to the panel with thought-provoking ideas.

When determining the four topics for the GCR Breakfast Symposium, the Chartres says it was important to consider customer feedback, market needs, and how to best maximise value to attendees.

“We wanted to focus on topics of global interest that would directly affect roasters from the Australasian market so that they can gain in-depth knowledge, hear practical advice, and make informed decisions that will set their business up for future success in line with evolving market needs,” Chartres says.

She says the reaction to the GCR breakfast series announcement “has been overwhelmingly positive”.

“Being able to provide such a platform and add value to our MICE attendees is really exciting from our perspective and is helping to take MICE to another next level,” says Chartres.

The first session topic, Business in Asia, will examine the rapid growth of the Asian market and its influence on beverage and consumption trends. The discussion will highlight the DNA structure of successful Asian businesses looking to expand overseas, and Australian businesses beginning to mark their territory in the region.

“With coffee really booming in Asia. We want to examine what is happening around us with our neighbouring countries, and explore any trends that could translate to the Australian market,” Chartres says.

“There has already been several Australian roasters who have successfully expanded into Asia, and we want to share their learnings with others looking to try their luck in the region.”

The second panel topic, Tracing Trees, will take a closer look at recent deforestation supply chain regulations set in place by the European Union (EU).

In December 2022, the EU agreed on a new regulation to ensure supply chains remain free from processes and products that cause deforestation. Coffee, among other commodities, was identified as a key driver of deforestation due to agricultural expansion, with the new order aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss in the harvesting process.
Chartres says the discussion will benefit roasters still questioning how the regulations will affect their business operations.

“We’re looking to hear explanations across the supply chain, from those based in coffee growing origins to exporters that work with Australian businesses,” Chartres says.

“The aim is to prepare the Australian market for the future so that the transition is seamless and transparent going forward.”

The third chapter of the discussion series, Origin Focus, will deep dive into the nuances of origin countries including Brazil, Indonesia, and Nepal. Country representatives will highlight current crop trends and challenges, explain future plans for varietal development, and its unique point of difference.

“This topic will give attendees a chance to meet representatives from some of Australia’s favourite coffee-growing countries and gain insights into the lives of coffee farmers, and their commitment to upholding quality coffee production,” Chartres says.

“It’s all about challenging people to think more broadly about the journey of crop to cup, and a deeper appreciation and understanding of the many hands that contribute to the product so many Australians worship and consume daily. Our entire industry is dependent on the first step of the supply chain. Without our producers, there would be no industry and no MICE.”

The final topic of the panel series, Coffee Prices, will examine market conditions, look at past pricing trends, key factors contributing to volatile conditions, and what the future holds.

Panel representatives will speak from an outside perspective, which symposium organisers believe will provide a refreshing change to standard coffee analysis.

“Our goal is to give attendees an added perspective about the broader economy in the hope to broaden their understanding of contributing factors that impact global coffee prices,” Chartres says.

MICE is just months away. For international businesses and visitors looking to make the trip Down Under, Chartres says now is the time to make a strong business case to attend.

“Now only is the GCR breakfast series going to be a fascinating new addition, it’s just one part of a larger event that is known throughout the global coffee industry for its dedicated coffee approach, it’s high-level engagement, lead generation, and networking opportunities,” she says.

“MICE has been serving the needs of the Australian coffee market for the past 10 years. It is a place to do business, make connections and establish new partnerships. Its purpose has always been to connect buyers and sellers, and this year is no different. If your business is looking to establish itself or its products in Australia, or you want to better understand the intricacies of this discerning market, there’s no better place than MICE to start that exploration. We look forward to seeing you in May.”

To register for the breakfast series or to acquire tickets to MICE, visit
internationalcoffeeexpo.com

This article was first published in the March/April 2024 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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