Special Correspondent

The marketing initiative will be organised in February next year

Domestic consumption of coffee has to be increased: Jairam Ramesh Expert to prepare strategy to achieve the objective

Bangalore: The first India International Coffee Festival, which will be organised by the Coffee Board biannually as a major marketing initiative, will be held here from February 23 to February 25 next year, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said here on Friday.

He told presspersons here that a major challenge before the domestic coffee industry was to increase domestic consumption. "About 80 per cent of our coffee is exported while 80 per cent of the remaining is consumed in Tamil Nadu. If we don't increase domestic consumption, the future of the coffee industry is not bright," he said.

According to the Minister, domestic consumption of coffee should be doubled from 80,000 tonnes to 1.6 lakh tonnes in 10 years. "This will mean raising the average consumption from about 4,000 tonnes to 8,000 tonnes a year," he noted.

Experts' report

Mr. Ramesh said the report of Carlos Brando, the Brazilian coffee expert hired by the Coffee Board to chalk out a strategy for increasing domestic consumption of coffee, would be ready by the end of the month. "Once Brando's report is ready, the board will start a major programme for domestic marketing of coffee," he said.

He said the board would file an application for registering "Monsooned Coffee" as a geographical indication. There were plans to register Assam tea and Nilgiris tea as geographical indications, he added.