The long-awaited Melbourne International Coffee Expo is set to reunite the international coffee community once again.
The last time the wider global coffee community gathered in Australia for the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) was 2019, before there was a whisper of a worldwide pandemic.
In the three years since, the coffee industry has been busy brewing up new concepts, new technology and new products. This evolution will be on display when visitors return to MICE from 27 to 30 September 2022 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
“After three long years, we could not be more thrilled that MICE is finally back, and with the World Coffee Championships. As the only country outside the United States to host the World Barista Championship twice, I think it’s testament to the Australian coffee industry and its strength on the world stage,” says MICE2022 Show Director Lauren Winterbottom.
With such huge demand, exhibition space at MICE2022 is filling fast, and is seeing a great uptake of international exhibitors eager to reconnect with the Asia Pacific market.
Already booked in to attend MICE2022 is smoke and odour filtration company Vortx Kleanair. President Ron Kleist says the company has been planning to formally introduce its green alternative to an afterburner, the EcoFilter, since 2020.
“We have received a number of commitments to meet with us at the expo, so we must be there,” says Kleist.
Kleist says he’s eager to show the Australian coffee community the EcoFilter due to the existential threat of climate change.
“We are offering a product which uses water to clean chaff, smoke, and odour from your stack without burning any natural gas. And the amount of water our system requires is less than a single bath each day,” he says.
Kleist adds that he’s excited for the global coffee community to unite once again after such a disruption to face-to-face meetings.
“VortX should do very well because we make any roaster an environmentally sound product at a fraction of the cost, all at a time when your nation is trying to implement the best possible practices when it comes to clean air.”
Showcasing new products is just one of the ways MICE has become an anchor point for international guests. The expo will allow the global coffee community to connect with new and existing Australian customers, see the latest in coffee technology and machinery, and meet with the industry’s best roasters and baristas.
Barista Academy Uganda is a first-time exhibitor that is keen to display its coffee offering to the global coffee community.
“It’s important for Barista Academy Uganda to attend MICE2022 to showcase our coffee and learn more from other coffee roasters. We also want to engage with other coffee businesses and look to expand our reach in the market,” says Barista Academy Uganda Manager Sali Akim.
Akim says MICE is a significant event for the company as it attracts coffee connoisseurs from all corners of the world, a perfect place to increase its customer base.
“What I’m most looking forward to as a first-time exhibitor is to meet new coffee lovers like me and share new ideas with them. I look forward to learning more about coffee, as it will help me to improve my brand,” says Akim.
MICE will bring top industry decision-makers and leading international organisations to Australia to provide a platform to build business relationships.
That includes roaster manufacturer Brambati from Italy. Brambati CEO Fabrizio Brambati says the company made great strides and an enormous effort even during the pandemic to maintain a connection with its clients, but nothing can compare to in-person connections.
“Even though Brambati has managed to stay close to its customers over the last two years, it’s a great opportunity for our company to meet personally with existing and potential clients in the coffee industry. Brambati has invested strongly in research and development, innovation, sustainability and improving our technology, and wish to share these achievements,” Brambati says.
Brambati will also present its KAR15 fully automatic coffee roaster and discuss its latest features. This includes improved energy efficiencies, software control with precise roast profiling, and reduced emissions by installing catalytic converters with Ecodesign afterburners in accordance with ISO environmental management systems.
Brambati has supported MICE and the Australian coffee market for many years and says every customer interaction at the tradeshow is memorable for two reasons.
“The first, is that it allows us the chance to create new contacts, and from there, we hope we can start future collaborations,” says Brambati.
“The second reason, is to reunite with customers we have known for a long time, particularly those with whom the collaboration has lasted years. It’s great to have the opportunity to see each other again in person, given the recent challenges we’ve faced globally, and that certainly gives added value to the exhibition.”
In addition to manufacturers, there is a vast range of internationally based packaging companies attending MICE2022. This includes ICA S.p.A, a company that designs and manufactures high-performance automatic packaging machines with advanced solutions.
“After three years MICE is back, and we couldn’t be happier,” says ICA Marketing Coordinator Michela Alvisi. “Since the 1970s, ICA has assisted Australian and New Zealand coffee roasters with its packaging systems. This makes us all the more eager to return to meet the operators of this fantastic sector in person at what is a true benchmark and hub of coffee technology.”
ICA will present packaging systems dedicated to single serve, capable of implementing materials with reduced environmental impact. Sergio Vecchietti, ICA Sales Export Manager, says it will be an opportunity to highlight its 100 per cent recyclable degassing valves, the result of the work of one of ICA’s main brands, Aroma System, in collaboration with an Italian university. ICA will also illustrate the new after-sales technical support service located in Melbourne.
“ICA and Australian roasters share the same level of preparation and quality of packaging plants, as well as the same goal to guarantee quality customer service. MICE will therefore be an opportunity to engage directly with extremely well-prepared operators,” Vecchietti says.
“Sharing ideas is fundamental to our company values. Our team always looks forward to MICE with great enthusiasm to gather information from prepared and attentive operators.”
GrainPro is another packaging company exhibiting at MICE. By providing adequate storage, drying, and transport facilities across the supply chain, GrainPro aims to uplift the livelihood of smallholder farmers.
“This makes MICE very important to our company because processors, roasters, and exporters depend on the coffee producers. Therefore, we want to create awareness of how GrainPro can provide a win-win solution for stakeholders in the coffee supply chain,” says GrainPro Marketing and Social Media Manager for Asia Rojoan Gabriel.
Gabriel says GrainPro will highlight its products in hermetic or airtight storage, drying, and transport solutions.
“We believe premium coffee deserves premium protection, which makes its container critical in passing on quality as the bean is prone to damage such as oxidation, moisture absorption, infestation, and light. This can be addressed using our drying, storage, and transport products,” she says.
According to Gabriel, MICE is a significant event for the company to attend to gain insight into current trends and become aware of the needs and wants of specialists in the coffee sector.
“We can determine how to improve our solutions and services by fielding feedback from current users we encounter at the event. We can also present our new solutions as well as introduce improvements to our existing products that will help users preserve and protect the quality and quantity of their coffee,” says Gabriel.
“With proven success in consolidating more than 10,000 stakeholders in the coffee industry, MICE is a perfect avenue to create this awareness.”
The expo has also helped GrainPro capture its target market and hopes the event will once again provide key connects, new leads and opportunities to connect with new partners.
“We feel we are in the right place because MICE has provided a great avenue to expand our network in the coffee industry,” Gabriel says.
“Additionally, the team behind this tradeshow is supportive and is always ready to lend a hand to help us maximise our presence before, during, and after the event.”
MICE has come a long way since it began in 2012. This year’s event boasts 200 exhibitors and is expected to attract more than 12,000 attendees, making it one of the largest dedicated coffee expos in the world.
“It’s not only a place for the industry to connect but also a show where real business is done, with many exhibitors making significant sales on the show floor,” says Lauren Winterbottom.
“We can’t wait to welcome the world to Melbourne in September and showcase everything our wonderful industry has to offer. MICE will certainly be worth the wait.”
For more information, visit www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com
This article was first published in the July/August 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.