For the first time in Asia, World Coffee Conference to be held in Bengaluru

Host Coffee Board calls it an `once in a lifetime opp’ for India for the current generation of coffee growers as the event may take several decades to return by rotation

August 01, 2023 02:01 am | Updated 02:02 am IST - Bengaluru

Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and S. Selvakumar, Principal
Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, Government of
Karnataka, unveiling the logo, theme, and highlights of World
Coffee Conference 2023, in Bengaluru on Monday, July 31, 2023 K. MURALI KUMAR

Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and S. Selvakumar, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, Government of Karnataka, unveiling the logo, theme, and highlights of World Coffee Conference 2023, in Bengaluru on Monday, July 31, 2023 K. MURALI KUMAR | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Bengaluru, the coffee capital of India, is all set to host the fifth edition of the World Coffee Conference (WCC 2023) between September 25 and 28.

Interestingly, this is the first time India and Asia are preparing to host this most prestigious global coffee event, WCC, a property of the London-based International Coffee Organisation (ICO), a body set up in 1963 under the auspices of the United Nations to boost the economic importance of coffee globally. The earlier editions of WCC were held in London (2001), Brazil (2005), Guatemala (2010), and Ethiopia (2016).

K.G. Jagadeesha, CEO and Secretary, Coffee Board of India, said Bengaluru winning the host position of WCC meant a lot for India and Asia and it indicated the growing dominance of Indian coffees in the global markets.

“Hosting WCC is a lifetime opportunity for India, because ICO has 70 coffee producing and coffee consuming countries as members and we may not witness another WCC in India in our lifetime,’‘ he said.

Mr. Jagadeesha further said WCC 2023 held a great promise for the global coffee sector, specially when the Indian coffee industry was fostering growth and sustainable practices while showcasing its coffee heritage to the world.

The event, to be jointly organised by the Coffee Board, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and ICO, is expected to significantly increase India’s access and acceptance in the global coffee markets. Coffee is the largest traded commodity in the world worth over $200 billion offering employment and livelihood to over 100 million families.

Sunayan Mitra, Director, Coffee & Beverage Business South Asia Region, Nestle India, said, the WCC did not come to India and Bengaluru by chance, it is clearly an indication of the global acknowledgement that Indian coffees have been receiving in these years.

Echoing similar sentiments, Chacko Purackal Thomas, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Coffee, said the honour of being the host country simply meant that the global coffee community has started recognising the enormous contribution India made to the global coffee trade in the last several decades.

Emphasising the lead role played by Karnataka, S. Selvakumar, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, Government of Karnataka, said the State solely accounting for over 70% of the country’s total coffee production, was undoubtedly the coffee capital of India with a rich heritage of producing some of the finest coffees in the world.

“We see tremendous opportunity for investments across the coffee value chain, from bean to cup, in coffee equipment, coffee machines, soluble coffee brands as well as in cafes. This will in turn create employment opportunities across farms to cafes across,’‘ Mr. Selvakumar added.

Coffee Board inducted tennis player, Arjuna awardee, and coffee planter Rohan Bopanna is brand ambassador for the WCC 2023.

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