“Together, let’s nurture a sustainable and thriving coffee industry for generations to come”

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India (2nd from right) along with dignitaries inaugurating the 5th World Coffee Conference 2023 by lighting the lamp on September 25, 2023 at Bangalore

5th World Coffee Conference 2023

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, called upon the coffee industry leaders and stakeholders “Together, let’s nurture a sustainable and thriving coffee industry for generations to come.” He said after inaugurating the 5th World Coffee Conference (WCC) 2023, on the theme “Sustainability through circular economy and regenerative agriculture”.

Addressing the gathering the minister said “The theme of the conference emphasises the crucial importance of sustainability, waste reduction, and inclusivity in shaping a greener coffee future. As we gather in Bangalore, a hub of flavour and innovation, I stand by four core principles: continuous innovation from farm to cup, promoting sustainability, fostering global collaborations, and maintaining top-quality standards throughout production, processing, and packaging.”

Organised by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) in collaboration with the Coffee Board of India; Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India; Government of Karnataka, and the Coffee Industry, the four-day 5th World Coffee Conference (WCC) 2023 started from September 25, 2023, at the iconic Bangalore Palace in Bengaluru.

Joe Kuli, Minister for Coffee from Papua New Guinea; Massimiliano Fabian, Chair of the International Coffee Council; Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & Managing Director, Nestle India Ltd.; Sunil D’Souza, CEO & MD, Tata Consumer Products; Challa Srishant, Managing Director, CCL Products (India) Ltd.; Shiva Krishnamurthy, Vice President, South Asia Food & Beverage, Hindustan Unilever Limited; N. Sathappan, Chairman & MD, SLN Coffee Pvt. Ltd.; Dr Vanusia Nogueira, Executive Director, International Coffee Organisation, and representatives of UNIDO, FAO, ITC, Afreximbank and ILO were present on the occasion and shared their views on the sustainable and thriving coffee industry.

Rohan Bopanna, India’s No.1 Doubles Tennis Player & Arjuna Awardee who is the Brand Ambassador of WCC 2023 shared his comments via a recorded message as he was representing India at the Asian Games in China.

“The World Coffee Conference 2023 has played a vital role in highlighting India’s commitment to quality and sustainability. This is opening up business opportunities and fostering innovations in the coffee industry,” said Dr K.G. Jagadeesha, CEO and Secretary, Coffee Board of India in his remarks on the concluding day of the 4-day event. 

Dr Jagadeesha also said “The conference attracted interest from industrialists, tech enthusiasts, and innovators, driving the growth of India’s coffee culture, especially in cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Kolkata (traditionally tea consuming cities). The Coffee shops have also transformed into creative hubs, and we offer support to aspiring entrepreneurs despite the challenges they may encounter. We promote sound agricultural practices and raise global awareness to improve coffee production.”

He further said “India’s growing reputation in the coffee industry, known for its sustainable and high-quality production, is gaining global recognition.”

Giving details about the WCC 2023, Dr Jagadeesha said “The 5th World Coffee Conference and Expo came to an end on September 28 with a participation from 80 countries, including 2609 delegates, 323 International delegates, 253 exhibitors, 13,947 business visitors and 347 B2B meetings. It included 45 knowledge sessions, with 127 speakers, of which 80 were international experts and 47 were Indian.” 

Exhibition at WCC 2023 was a star attraction where the entire coffee value chain- from bean to cup, equipment companies, coffee machines, soluble coffees brands as well café chains were exhibiting. There were also beautifully designed themed pavilions representing states such as Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and the North-East, each showcasing the diverse range of coffees produced in India.

Conference Sessions revolved around important topics like Circular Economy & Regenerative Agriculture, Financing Mechanisms, Coffee Quality, Sustainability & Climate Change, Start-up Innovations, Coffee Trade, Livelihood Challenges, Consumption, Social Sustainability, Importance of Robusta and Trading Platforms.

Another highlight of WCC 2023 was Skill Building Workshops with focus on sessions around The Rise of Alternative Milk, Everything Brewing – Cold and Hot, Creating Coffee Community – Cafes and Micro Roasters, Sample Roasting at Origin, Alternative fuel for the future of Coffee Roasting, Cooperative venture in India: 19 steps to fetching a cupping score of 91 points – seed-to-cup journey, Panel Discussion on The Cafe Business, A Masterclass in Espresso – (Intermediate & Professional), Sipping Sustainability: Exploring Climate-Resilient Coffee Species – Tasting & Panel Talk, Basics of Barista Championship Preparation, The Mysterious Robusta Bean (With Sensory Assessment), Cocoa and Coffee – A story in the making and Blending & profiling Robusta.

Bengaluru served as the host city for this exceptional global assembly, highlighting a shared dedication to sustainability and innovation within the coffee industry. As part of the event, traditional folk dances from coffee growing states of Odisha, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and the North-East were presented, providing delegates from around the world with a delightful glimpse into India’s rich and diverse cultures.

The event continued the tradition of previous successful editions held in England (2001), Brazil (2005), Guatemala (2010), and Ethiopia (2016), each of which garnered widespread acclaim from coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

Coffee consumption is expected to double in the next 25 years: Amardeep Singh Bhatia

“The demand for coffee has grown over the past decade. We consume close to 3 billion cups of coffee worldwide which is expected to double in the next 25 years,” said Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India.

Speaking at the Growers Conclave, a critical component of the four-day event of 5th World Coffee Conference (WCC) 2023 Bhatia said “The demand for coffee is being led by coffee producing countries who are rising to the demands despite the challenges of climate change and other factors.”

Bhatia further said “Adoption of sustainable practices which is the theme of this conference is apt and the discussions have resulted in enlightening insights. Coffee Growers are at the heart of this conference and therefore the conference addresses challenges and solutions aimed at this community, many of whom are fourth and fifth generation growers.”

The Growers Conclave provided a platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration among individuals who contribute to the coffee cultivation and production process. Participants had the opportunity to get the global perspective from speakers from all over the world including Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Colombia, Europe, and more. They also got to explore cutting-edge techniques, sustainable practices, specialty coffee and exciting trends in the world of coffee farming.

On the occasion Bhatia launched ‘India Coffee App’, an App which aims to connect all the participants of the coffee value chain and establish a system providing ease of communication and understanding. 

In the presence of coffee connoisseurs, experts, and enthusiasts from around the globe, he also released the Coffee Guide, an extensive, hands-on and neutral source of information on the coffee sector. It covers trade issues relevant to coffee growers, traders, exporters, transportation companies, certifiers, associations and authorities, and other relevant actors. Many in the coffee industry consider it the go-to reference.

What ‘India Coffee App” provides…

Coffee Board is extending research and development services namely seed coffee supply, traps, lures and biocontrol agents to combat the coffee pests, customised advisories, soil sample analysis and distribution of soil health cards, export facilitation, quality analysis etc., to all the stakeholders in the coffee sector.

Besides, in order to promote the pure coffee consumption in the domestic market, Coffee Board is selling pure coffee powder/roasted beans to consumers. In this connection, taking into account various technological advances in the field of communication, Coffee Board has launched an ‘Integrated Mobile App’ named ‘India Coffee App’ along with an e-commerce facility for making one stop solution to all the product, services and information provided by the Coffee Board. 

Coffee Board through ‘India Coffee App’ providing customised advisories to the coffee growers. The services in the App enable efficient, timely customised advisory best agricultural practices, alerts on prices, pest and disease management by leveraging existing mobile reach for wider delivery of improved technology to boost the production and productivity. ‘India Coffee App’ also helps Coffee Board’s field extension functionaries to improve the work efficiency.

Under this Integrated Mobile App, Coffee Board has tied up with ‘India Post’ for logistic support in order to deliver the products and services to the coffee stakeholders at their doorstep. ‘India Coffee App’ helps the stakeholders to avail all the products and services of the Coffee Board on a real time basis. This integrated mobile app will also help the Coffee Board to deliver the products and services to stakeholders more efficiently. The features of the App reduce users’ search cost for coffee stakeholders to a greater extent.

Hrishikesh Mohite from Café’ De Meet to represent India in The World Barista Championship to be held in South Korea 

The 5th World Coffee Conference (WCC) 2023 hosted competitions and championships during the 4-day event, the most coveted of which is the National Barista Championship. 

The prestigious competition was designed to recognise the most technically proficient and talented baristas in the field. It is dedicated to promoting excellence throughout the entire coffee value chain, fostering skill development, and cultivating a thriving café culture in India. The winner will represent India in The World Barista Championship to be held in South Korea, and a cash prize was also awarded. Hrishikesh Mohite from Café’ De Meet won the National Barista Championship 2024 at the WCC 2023. 

At the Women’s Star Brewer Skills Championship, female baristas and home brewers were offered a platform to proudly display their coffee brewing prowess, demonstrating their skills. Participants were allowed to craft a ‘Signature Beverage’ utilising home brewing equipment. The Women’s Star Brewer Skills Championship is awarded to Priti Pradhan. 

The National Latte Art Championship made its debut in India, bringing an exciting blend of artistic expression and barista skill to the forefront. This unique competition challenges baristas with on-the-spot performances that showcase their creativity and precision. From over 150 contestants, Mohammad Afsar was awarded as the champion who will now participate in the International Latte Art Championship in Taiwan. 

The Great Indian Filter Coffee Championship is a celebration of traditional Indian coffee craftsmanship, designed to promote and nurture the art of brewing the quintessential Filter Coffee. From 27 participants went head-to-head from which Vani shree N from Brown Bean Artistry is declared the winner. 

1758 contestants participated in the ‘Flavour of India – The Fine Cup Award Cupping Competition’ which was on a mission to award the production of high-quality coffees in India. The winner of Best Washed Arabica is awarded to Killo Aswini, Best Arabica Naturals is awarded to Kruthi Coffee, Kindriguda Tribal Farmers Group, Best Washed Robusta is awarded to Jacob Mammen, Badra Estate Balehonnur Estate; Best Robusta Naturals is awarded to Jacob Mammen, Badra Balehonnur Estate. 

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