Second COTECA event sees 20 per cent increase in exhibitors

The Tea, Coffee and Cocoa Global Industry Expo (COTECA), that took place in Hamburg from 20 to 22 September, saw around 3000 participants attend the trade fair. Event organisers reported a strong representation from the tea, coffee and cocoa industries. In particular, a high level of participation from international exhibitors and visitors, as well as the professionalism of the audience, were seen as positive factors. “We are really pleased at how COTECA has developed since its launch in 2010,” said Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, in a statement. “The 125 exhibitors we welcomed here in 2012 is an increase of 20 per cent. Instead of 20 countries, 30 were represented among the exhibitors at this second COTECA, which makes us very positive about the future. There was also a striking number of international visitors at the trade fair.” Over 30 per cent of trade visitors came from abroad. Scandinavia, Eastern European countries and The Netherlands were especially well represented, with many professionals from outside Europe and the Arab world making the trip to COTECA. Exhibitors included numerous producers from origin countries who presented their raw materials at COTECA. Phan Minh Thong, President of Phuc Sinh Corporation in Vietnam, the second-largest coffee producer in the world, said: “I travel a lot to international trade fairs, so I have a basis for comparison. This was only the second COTECA, but it really is very good. Hamburg’s port makes it so strong in the coffee business, and you meet the real coffee people at COTECA. We established excellent contacts, including with visitors from Eastern Europe, Spain and Italy.” Karla Calidonio, a consultant from the Instituto del Café Hondureño (IHCAFE) from Honduras, similarly stated: “For our producers, who came here with us, COTECA was an excellent opportunity to come into direct contact with companies, including new markets for us such as Dubai, Scandinavia, Russia, Romania and of course Germany. This was our first time at COTECA and it was very successful for us.” For some large trading companies, COTECA in Hamburg was their home turf. At the end of the trade fair Arthur E. Darboven, CEO of Benecke Coffee, said: “COTECA went very well for us. We were able to meet the right contacts. Major and international clients, business partners we already know as well as new leads. We’re hearing the same thing from our competitors. We will be back in 2014.” The tea sector had a much stronger presence at COTECA in 2012 than two years earlier. Marcus Clausen, CEO of Dethlefsen & Balk GmbH, said: “This year we only took part in COTECA to see what would happen, but are quite positive in terms of the resonance, frequency and quality of visitors. We are very happy with it overall and hope that the trade fair continues to develop positively and that Hamburg continues to establish itself as a tradeshow location for tea.” Jens von Riegen, CEO of Mount Everest Tea Company GmbH, also praised the professional level of the conversations he held with visitors: “COTECA is very qualified and target-oriented. We have a very positive feeling about the results of the trade fair.” As COTECA covers the complete process chain from raw commodities to finished product, roasters and the processing industry were also represented alongside producers from the growing countries and traders. The majority of equipment suppliers were also positive about the trade fair. Looking to the future, Simon Stähle, CEO of Handelsagentur Import Simon Stähle, said: “We found a very good trade audience at COTECA. It absolutely reaches our target group. We can imagine expanding on our presence and presenting our roasters in action next time.” The program included numerous tastings, workshops and roasting seminars that organisers say went down very well with visitors.  Holger Rehorik, General Secretary of the Deutsche Röstergilde e.V. (German Roasters Association), helped organised an entire ‘coffee campus’ for the trade fair. “The coffee campus at COTECA was very well received. The interactivity and being able to work on the machines themselves were the crucial factor for visitors. It gave them a place for learning and interacting. We are really very satisfied,” said Rehorik. During the first two days of the trade fair, COTECA was accompanied by a conference at which international experts gave talks. One of the speakers on the subject of tea was Barbara Dufrene, Publisher of La Nouvelle Presse du Thé in Paris, who summarised her impressions as follows: “The response was excellent. The number of visitors was above average. It was a very good conference mix, and people participated very enthusiastically,” said Dufrene. “Our concept for COTECA worked out well,” said Bernd Aufderheide at the end of the trade fair. “The feedback and encouragement we've received this year is an incentive for us for COTECA 2014.”

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