CHICAGO -- Coffee industry veteran Dan Cox will keynote the National Automatic Merchandising Association's 2014 Coffee Tea & Water conference in Dallas this fall. Cox is owner and president of Coffee Enterprises (Burlington, VT). He will deliver the CTW opening address at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Cox got his start in the coffee business in 1981 as one of the first employees of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and he went on to become its senior vice-president. He also played an important role in building the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and served three terms as its president.
Founding his own coffee business in the late 1980s, Cox recognized the coffee industry's need for expert analysis and a more detailed scientific understanding of the product. In 1996 he cofounded Grounds for Health, a nonprofit that provides health services for women in coffee producing regions.
Today, Coffee Enterprises provides coffee business consulting. Its Coffee Analysts business unit offers scientific analysis and quality assurance, as well as coffee testing and assistance with new coffee product development and coffee quality assurance. Another unit, Coffee Ed, conducts comprehensive coffee education programs for coffee industry professionals.
NAMA reports that Cox was the second American to pass the arduous Q Grader exam, in 2007, and was the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 2012.
"We are excited to have Dan join us for CTW this year," said NAMA vice-president of sales and CTW Dean Gilland. "He is an internationally recognized coffee expert and a leading authority on consumer trends, marketing, product handling and coffee legal matters." Cox's keynote address will explore topics including coffee quality, sustainability, commodity markets, single-cup trends and business tools. It's titled "How Hot Is Your Coffee Business?"
The purpose of the annual Coffee Tea & Water conference is to give participants a greater understanding of current industry issues and more detailed information about coffee products, Gilland explained. It will be held Nov. 11-13.