National Coffee Association of America

The Coffee Reprorter- A Publication of the National Coffee Association of America

Home | Members Only | Member Directory | Publications | Contact Us

Volume 8, Number 12           December 2003





NCA In Your Corner: 2

NCA Joins Industry Leaders Addressing World Crisis Solutions at Sintercafe. 2

NCA Works for You: 4

NCA Annual Convention Ramps Up: Sources, Horizons, Technologies and Market Trends  4

Drink to Your Health: 6

Coffee Hydrates Like Water 6

Light & Sweet: 7

Take a Powder, and a Cup. 7

COFFEE FunFact: 8

Beethoven, A Bean Counter?. 8


Consumption Soars as Brazil Ramps Up Promotion. 8

Study Identifies "Secrets" of Winning Coffees. 9

UK Supermarket Goes All Fair Trade. 10

Longtime Industry Friend and Colleague Mourned. 11

C. Hans von Gimborn Dies. 11





Retail prices (all sizes/per pound) 14

The ICO composite average indicator prices. 14








NCA In Your Corner:

NCA Joins Industry Leaders Addressing World Crisis Solutions at Sintercafe


In a roundtable discussion that brought together the coffee industry's most prominent leaders from around the world, consensus emerged that distinguishing between gourmet and mainstream coffees is not the way to solve the international coffee crisis. While gourmet coffee promotion has been a success story, market share is still a fraction of total consumption and cannot drive recovery from the supply-demand imbalance. Sentiment was also strong for promoting consumption in producing nations.


 Participants in the roundtable were:

§         Hidetaca Hayashi - Director, Specialty Coffee Association of Japan (SCAJ)

§         Ted Lingle - Executive Director, Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)

§         Sandy McAlpine - President, Coffee Association of Canada (CAC)

§         Robert F. Nelson - President and CEO, National Coffee Association of U.S.A., Inc., the industry's trade group since 1911 (NCA)

§         Nestor Osario, Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization


ICO Promotes "Complimentarity"

ICO chief Nestor Osario, who opened the program, said that promoting the gourmet coffee segment alone would not help solve the world crisis. Too few producers can grow these coffees, and so would be effectively excluded from any recovery. However, he cited the success enjoyed by gourmet promotion, and called for extending it to the mainstream market, creating "complimentarity" throughout the industry. That success has been remarkable, with a rate of growth over the last several years of around 10% a year, even though gourmet coffee accounts only for .5 to 3.5% of coffee traded around the world. Osario also noted that while the ICO has engaged in consumption promotion campaigns since its founding 40 years ago, it is now time to forge new territory and bring such campaigns to producing countries.


NCA Calls for Unity

Robert Nelson spoke next, also emphasizing cooperation among industry segments, and said solving the crisis hinges on working together as a unified industry, presenting a more comprehensive, inclusive view.  He noted emphatically that the industry should view itself as one, global coffee industry -- not a mainstream industry versus a gourmet industry, nor a producer industry versus a consumer industry. As a global coffee industry, in turn, we need to view the competition not as gourmet or mainstream coffee, but rather other beverages. Pitting one coffee segment against another can only stifle consumption growth, and worsen rather than solve the current crisis. He also encouraged the coffee industry to emulate the success of the beverage industry by giving consumers increased variety and convenience.


Japan Sees More Categories

SCAJ Executive Director Hayashi postulated that the industry should focus attention on cup quality in an effort to gain customer confidence. However, he added, that is a tough sell since price is a primary driver among consumers who have no brand loyalty. He suggested adding a middle, "premium" category to consumers' options, consisting of fair trade and origin certified coffee. He also recommended new cupping criteria to discern important, subtler quality differences.


Specialty Group Suggests Different Solution

The SCAA view, expressed by Executive Director Lingle, was that asking whether coffee is gourmet or mainstream is the wrong question. Rather, quality, in a generic sense, would drive consumption of all types of coffee, contributing to solving the crisis.


Canada Says Make the Market Bigger

CAC President McAlpine maintained that solving the crisis is more complicated than gourmet versus mainstream coffees. In his view, it's about making the entire coffee market larger. With gourmet coffees growing at a mere 5-6% annually, the only growth area in Canada is in premium coffee, which now accounts for about 20-25% of the market.


Europe Eyes Overall Consumption Increase

In Europe, according to ECF Secretary General Roel Vaessen, there is no clear dividing line between gourmet and mainstream coffee. That means addressing the world crisis depends on increasing overall consumption of coffee of all types. So, the question the industry should be asking itself, across all segments, is how to increase consumption. Among his suggested strategies are making consumer access to coffee easier, such as through in-office coffee shops, enhancing coffee's convenience to compete with the ease of grabbing a can of soda, and offering new products such as ready-to-drink coffees.




NCA Works for You:

NCA Annual Convention Ramps Up: Sources, Horizons, Technologies and Market Trends


The National Coffee Association's 93rd annual convention is shaping up as an event of strategic firsts and innovative perspectives. As planning charges forward on this year's program -- From Source to Finish: New Sources, New Horizons, New Technologies -- the coffee industry's primary annual meeting is forging deeper and broader to comprehensively explore these important themes, with an expanding array of renowned experts, timely topics and innovative offerings.



India has now joined Brazil and Uganda on the program as spotlighted origins. In a breakout session called "A Taste of India," participants will get a guided "tour" of Indian coffees, as well as an expert analysis of why they are commanding increased attention in the U.S. The session will also include tasting of Indian varietals.


With this addition, attendees can appreciate the full spectrum of origins and their issues  -- Uganda among small and upcoming sources, Brazil among large, established and growing producers, and India among expanding traditional sources. Each has unique hurdles and promise, challenges and opportunities, drawbacks and contributions -- and hearing their individual perspectives in one venue gives attendees a unique chance to understand the dynamics of the industry's supply side at a critical time. 



NCA will also offer a variety of sessions aimed at exploring and discussing critical issues in Government relations, and the inevitable process of give, take and cooperation necessary to doing business in an increasingly complex world. The global supply-demand imbalance, sustainability issues, consumption promotion initiatives, and other developments are changing the way the industry must interact with governments and NGOs around the world.


Representatives from some of the most prominent non-profit organizations also will be on hand to discuss sustainability through the prism of their own agendas and mandates, an invaluable perspective for an industry struggling to accommodate such a fundamental concept and exploding trend. In "Maximizing Efforts on the Road to Sustainability," speakers from the Rainforest Alliance, Chemonics and the Coffee Quality Institute will share their views about how the world will emerge toward a more sustainable future, and how working more collaboratively among themselves will ease the impact as they maximize collective resources.


Attendees can hear the latest in political developments affecting the industry and have their individual questions answered as well. Rolly Prager, a leading international trade consultant in the coffee arena, will provide insight, stories and behind-the-scenes appreciation for how global politics influences major coffee decisions.  Rolly will provide an insider’s look at how the U.S. ICO decision was shaped and how achieving Executive Branch-level attention was truly unprecedented in the coffee industry.  She will also discuss what coffee executives need to watch for on the legislative horizon as we enter a presidential election year.


Another new horizon for the coffee industry is promoting coffee consumption, particularly in producing nations, as one way to address the supply-demand imbalance. An important facet of that push is to tout the positive health effects of drinking coffee. Dr. Dan Steffen of Kraft Foods North America will discuss new studies suggesting that coffee has significant health benefits, including a reduction in the effects of diseases as diverse as Parkinson's Disease and colon cancer.  He will also discuss old associations with health problems that remain unfounded in scientific research.



Renowned Web development pioneer and state-of-the-industry provider SBI Razorfish will be on hand to conduct a session updating the group on bleeding-edge Internet applications relevant to the coffee supply chain -- from tree to cup.  Razorfish executive Jim Harrison will help attendees navigate the potential and pitfalls of the latest applications, and discuss how best to engage new capabilities to help the industry's growers, roasters, exporters and retailers do business better, smarter and quicker for enhanced profitability.


Veteran coffee trader Paul Fisher from the New York Board of Trade will also walk the group through the innovative, state-of-the-art eCOPS (Electronic Commodity Operations and Processing System). eCOPS is a Web-based document production and tracking system that promises to digitize and revolutionize the world of commodity processing and delivery.


Brewing technology, too, is advancing by leaps and bounds, and experts from some of the most innovative developers will be on hand to provide an overview of new technologies. Representatives of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Wilbur Cutis, Inc. will also discuss how manufacturers, retailers and distributors can best comprehend and maximize the utility of increasingly sophisticated brewing equipment.



At the convention, participants each year get a pre-release preview of the results of NCA's National Coffee Drinking Trends, a comprehensive annual survey of trends in coffee consumption that has been the industry gold standard for trending information since 1950. A presentation by Mary Nunlist of Proctor & Gamble, member of the NCA's Marketing Research Committee, will present the 2004 findings. The annually tracked data includes total coffee consumption, breakdowns of trending in daily versus occasional drinkers, types of coffee consumed, location of coffee purchased, and trends in overall beverage consumption with coffee as a subset.


Trends of a qualitative nature also will be explored. Coffee is a very different business than it was 10 years ago. Evolving consumption patterns, an exploding and now maturing coffee shop market, and product and channel innovation have transformed the way consumers view and drink coffee, a far cry from the undifferentiated commodity it used to be. Noted market research firm Datamonitor's John Gilmore will examine these qualitative changes and quantify emerging market opportunities and future trends that will impact industry participants for many years to come. 


When in Wine Country

As the coffee industry moves toward gourmet options and varietal preferences, parallels to the wine industry are becoming more and more apparent. Addressing the convention as a guest luncheon speaker will be an expert from the California wine business.


Jack Stuart, a leading Napa Valley vintner, will share his insights on what it takes to compete in a diverse beverage category. His address will cover the challenges of a mature brand; selling vineyard (estate) v. appellation (origin) v. brand; competing in a global market; the value of category promotion; and distinguishing yourself from the competition


Further Information

More information about this year's convention, as well as online registration, can be found at



Drink to Your Health:

Coffee Hydrates Like Water


Tired of frequent trips to the cooler, or toting endless stocks of bottled water? Always losing count before getting in those six to eight glasses of water? Well, rest easy because research has now confirmed that coffee hydrates just like water.


Contrary to conventional wisdom, say researchers, caffeine is not a diuretic after all The University of Nebraska Medical Center has now confirmed that all non-alcoholic drinks, including caffeinated beverages, are hydrating just the same.   


Researchers at the university's Center for Human Nutrition recently concluded that people can stay healthfully hydrated by drinking their favorite beverages. "It doesn't have to be plain water, " says associate director Kristin Reimers, who led the research team. "Most people don't realize the longstanding recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day in addition to other beverages and foods has little scientific basis."


The research team, in fact, found no differences in hydration between adults who consumed a variety of beverages and those who drank only water. The study confirms an earlier study by the same team proving that consuming caffeinated beverages is not dehydrating.


The most recent study evaluated 27 healthy male volunteers over three days on two different diets. On one, plain water was included, while it was omitted from the other. On the second regimen, allowed beverages were chosen to reflect those commonly drunk in the U.S., except milk and alcohol. No difference in tracked indicators of hydration was observed between the two groups.


However, researchers noted that individuals' hydration needs differ because of varying lifestyles, food intake and physiological needs, and so they could not issue any "one size fits all" hydration recommendation.


How do we know when we're adequately hydrated, then? "The body is often smarter than we are," says Reimers. "All people need to think about drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated, but they should feel comfortable knowing that part of their requirements are met through foods and the rest can be met by drinking a variety of beverages."



Light & Sweet:

Take a Powder, and a Cup


Ever see weary travelers on the highway shoulder asleep in their reclining seats? What better way to beat the dozing reflex than to stop and nap? It's the wise thing to do, and a safety must for drivers, their passengers and neighbors in the next lane.


But, rough it no more. A chain of British motels is now offering a brand new service for the heavy-lidded sojourner -- special rates for a room, a nap and a strong cup of coffee.


Travelodge, which owns properties at strategic points on the British motorway network, has begun offering "Coffee and Nap" service at their facilities across the U.K. For special rates, travelers can rent rooms for designated 30-minute periods, and are served up a bed and strong coffee. Then, they're back on the road, presumably refreshed, revitalized and responsibly reassured.


Surely a testament to clever entrepreneurship, as well as corporate responsibility, the program will undoubtedly boost highway safety as well as enhance coffee's image and increase consumption. The chain has not disclosed, however, whose coffee will be served.




Beethoven, A Bean Counter?


Coffee aficionado Ludwig von Beethoven was an early fan of single-serve, grinding exactly 60 beans each time he brewed himself a cup.




Consumption Soars as Brazil Ramps Up Promotion


A new survey suggests that Brazil's multi-faceted campaign to increase internal coffee consumption has been a resounding success.  Fully 75% of young Brazilians, aged 15- to 35-year olds, said they would drink more coffee in the coming year. Over the past 10 years, in fact, Brazilian coffee consumption has jumped 60%, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO).


At a time when the ICO and industry trade groups are citing internal consumption promotion in producing countries as a leading solution for tackling the current supply-demand crisis, Brazil has proven itself to be a model that other countries can emulate. The #1 producing nation, it is currently the #2 consumer.


In the survey, sponsored by the Brazilian government and coffee industry, 1,460 Brazilians in eight state capitals and two smaller rural towns were polled. Results showed that intention to drink more coffee was particularly strong in southern Brazil and among less wealthy people.


Respondents also expressed a desire for new ready-to-drink canned coffee products as well as coffee cakes, yogurts, puddings, ice cream and even coffee chewing gum. They also were looking for new coffee dinks blended with mint, orange, lime and soy for protein. Yet, they also cited the biggest obstacle to drinking more coffee as health concerns fueled by doctors' advice.




The Brazilian Coffee Industry Association estimates that coffee consumption will rise to 14.6 million bags in 2003, from 14 million bags in 2002. It aims to raise consumption to 16 million bags in 2006. For comparison, Brazilian consumers drink 8.8 pounds of coffee per person per year, whereas Americans consume 9.9 pounds apiece.


Other Brazilian consumption promotion initiatives include the groundbreaking introduction of "coffee breaks" in the country's public schools. Serving up coffee mixed with a larger proportion of milk, the government hopes to help students acquire a taste for the national product.


The Brazilian government is now launching a new campaign to demonstrate the health benefits of coffee to counter conventional wisdom that coffee causes such problems as anxiety and hypertension. The Brazilian government is funding a study of 200,000 doctors to analyze whether there is any link between heart disease and coffee consumption.



Study Identifies "Secrets" of Winning Coffees


Finding parallels in the cultivation and production of award-winning coffees, two industry groups have released a study identifying their "Secrets to Success."  Altitude, rainfall, fermentation techniques and other factors appear to line up behind the winners of the 2003 Cup of Excellence in Nicaragua, according to the study sponsored by TechnoServe and the Specialty Coffee Association of Nicaragua (ACEN).


The study compared the conditions and production methods used by 385 coffee growers one to another, as well as to Nicaraguan coffee production overall. Startling similarities unearthed patterns that the trade groups distilled into principles that appear to yield exceptional coffee.


Findings show that excellent coffees come from specific agro-climactic conditions. Tracing the winners back to their climates, the study identifies narrow ranges of ideal variables that yield exceptional results.


However, the study also uncovered that post-harvest processing techniques also play a key role in the final outcome. The right agro-climactic conditions alone are not enough, and producers must be "meticulous" in their attention to the successful methodologies.


Specifically, the "Secrets to Success" are:


To put these winning principles in perspective, the study compared conditions and practices with those of non-winners:


The Cup of Excellence is a tasting event created by the Alliance for Excellence (ACE) to identify, promote and earn better prices for quality coffee. TechnoServe and ACEN were among the industry and government groups responsible for bringing the competition to Nicaragua in 2002 and 2003 at a time when growers are eager to find ways to produce high-quality coffees that can command sustainable prices.


The study is available in English at LessonsLearned (English).pdf ,

or, in Spanish at



UK Supermarket Goes All Fair Trade


Co-operative Retail, a British supermarket chain, has become the first U.K. retailer to switch its house-label coffee exclusively to fair trade sourced. The company anticipates its bold move will boost the U.K fair-trade market by 15%, or about 4 million pounds a year.


The Co-op, as the chain's stores are known, will offer instant and ground coffee under its fair-trade label. The company will purchase beans from five fair-trade-certified farmer cooperatives -- four in Central and South America and one in Tanzania, East Africa.


While the company will continue to stock conventional and other fair-trade coffees, it expects the decision to increase its fair-trade sales from 2.1 million to 6.5 million pounds a year. It will offer its brand at competitive prices to encourage sales.


According to the Fairtrade Foundation, worldwide sales of fair trade coffee increased by almost a third in the last year.



Longtime Industry Friend and Colleague Mourned


Last week, industry colleagues, friends and family mourned the loss of Tom Walker, Assistant Vice President of Marketing for the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), at Trinity Church in the heart of the financial district in which he spent most of his professional life. Tragically, Tom was taken in a drowning accident on November 21 in Costa Rica, where he was representing NYBOT at this year's Sintercafe conference. 


Chances are most remember Tom as the jovial, smiling face of NYBOT at many coffee industry events, ever the lighthearted raconteur and self-professed proud son of Texas. He was the ranking NYBOT host at Sintercafe, a constant presence at its corner booth at the far end of the exhibition space.


Professionally, Tom was an ardent advocate for the futures and options markets.  He served as Vice President for Dean Witter, General Manager of Clayton Brokerage and Vice President of Marketing for commodity exchanges COMEX and NYBOT. Earlier, he was a teacher and small-town mayor in Texas.


Tom is survived by his wife, Eunice Salton, who was with him in Costa Rica but was unhurt in the incident, daughter Dallas Walker Pender and granddaughter Ellen Van Horn Pender. At his family's request, donations in Tom's honor can be made to the Tommy Walker Memorial Fund at "Plays for Living," a non-profit organization that benefits at-risk youth through the arts, at 505 Eighth Ave, Suite 1202, New York, NY 10018.



C. Hans von Gimborn Dies


C. Hans von Gimborn, a longtime partner and Chairman of the Board of PROBAT-WERKE von Gimborn Maschinenfabrik GmbH, passed away on November 20 after a long illness. Von Gimborn was instrumental in making the company the globally successful PROBAT Group that it is today.


Taking the helm as general manager of PROBAT in 1968, von Gimborn managed the company for 25 years and was instrumental in transforming it into a leading worldwide manufacturer of coffee roasting plants. After retirement, he became Chairman of the Board of PROBAT Holding and co-proprietor of Messrs. Kirsch & Mausser, an engineering firm specializing in the development and manufacture of specialty machinery. Von Gimborn also founded the company's Museum for Coffee Technology.


A devoted family man, von Gimborn is survived by his wife, Doris Brenninkmeyer and his children Johanna, Jacoba, Carolin, Peter and Ernestine. His wife of 28 years, Roberta Falout van Schaik, predeceased von Gimborn in 1982.


Von Gimborn will be remembered by his colleagues as an exceptional person, exhibiting outstanding professional abilities, a warm personality and exemplary leadership.





Coffee Store-ing:  Wal-Mart is brewing up a new concept, testing its first in-store coffee shop at one of its Supercenter stores in Plano, Texas. The concept, called Kicks Coffee Café, is targeted to compete with competitors' freestanding operations as well as satellites in Super Target stores


Title by Keyboard: NYBOT's eCOPS has been designated by the USDA as the first official "Provider" of Electronic Warehouse Receipts (EWR) for coffee under the U.S. Warehouse Act. This puts eCOPS in the vanguard of the technological revolution that will automate the cumbersome, error-prone and costly manual back-office documenting of delivery and transfer of commodities. With this selection, eCOPS can now maintain and transfer an official electronic version of the primary title document for coffee.


Decaf is What? Next time you hear someone avoiding health negatives by drinking decaf, you can be an expert, too. According to Dr. Stephen Scheidt, director of cardiology training at the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, the correct response is "What negatives?"  In fact, Dr. Scheidt says there is evidence that exactly the opposite may be true and that caffeinated coffee may be more healthful than decaf. At any rate, the doctor says negatives about regular coffee consumption come from flawed Scandinavian studies linking higher caffeine intake with heart disease.


Natural Selection: Scientists at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan have, for the first time, grown genetically engineered coffee plants that contain 70% less caffeine than normal by "knocking out" the enzyme that instructs the plant to make caffeine. However, the plant will take upwards of four years to sprout beans and then it will take a few more years for the crop to brew through the regulatory processes in Japan and the U.S.








Soluble Coffee Products


It is the understanding of the NCA that allegations have been made alleging that it is possible that some soluble coffee being sold to consumers in other countries may contain adulterants. NCA has no reason to believe that retailers or packers of allegedly adulterated soluble coffee are aware of or complicit in the alleged adulteration.


This information is being provided for the purpose of informing NCA members of these allegations in other countries, so that  members of the U. S. coffee industry are aware  and can take measures to ensure that adulterated soluble coffee is not sold in the United States.


Soluble coffee can be tested for adulterants such as maltodextrin, soy, barley, and other extractable grains and additives. Simple chemical analysis performed by  reputable analytical laboratories should be able to identify whether non-coffee material is present.




NCA Annual Convention:

From Source to Finish: New Origins, New Horizons. New Technology

March 4 - 6, 2004

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Dana Point, California

Contact: Steve Wolfe:


Pacific Coast Coffee Association Annual Convention

September 16 - 18, 2004

The Hapuna Prince Hotel

Hawaii (Big Island)

Contact: PCCA: 925-944-2326
















Retail prices (all sizes/per pound)


Ground roast



Oct. '03

Oct. '02

Oct. '03

Oct. '02

U.S. Avg





Northeast Urban





Midwest Urban





South Urban





West Urban





Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The ICO composite average indicator prices


Colombian Mild


"Other Mild"


Brazilian & Other



Composite Price








































The Coffee Reporter is published monthly by the

National Coffee Association of U.S.A., Inc.


15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1405

New York, NY 10038

© Copyright 2003 NCA


Telephone: (212) 766-4007

Facsimile:   (212) 766-5815


Chairwoman:             Mary J. Williams

 President & CEO:    Robert F. Nelson

                                    Editor:                Joe DeRupo