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NCA Fall Confab Offers Diverse Curriculum Themed To Coffee Quality, Marketing Skills

Posted On: 9/23/2007

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NEW YORK CITY (September 2007) -- The National Coffee Association's annual Fall Educational Conference, themed "Coffee's New Environment: You're Green to Go," is scheduled for October 15-17. It will be held at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, just across the East River from Manhattan's Financial District.

The conference offers a two-day educational program that allows participants to choose from two curriculum tracks, one devoted to coffee quality and the other to coffee marketing.

The event will also feature a tabletop exhibit, showcasing a wide spectrum of products and services. Exhibiting companies include Brauner International Corp.; Bunn-O-Matic; Coffeecol; Curwood; Fres-co System USA; Hencorp Becstone Futures/; Maximus Coffee Group; New England Coffee Co.; Olam Americas; Rockline Industries; Scolari Engineering; S&D Coffee; Starbucks Coffee Co.; Vicam; and Voyava Republic Corp.

Prior to the formal start of the conference participants can take an optional tour of White Coffee Corp.'s roasting plant in nearby Long Island City from 1:00  PM to 4:00 PM on Monday, October 15. A separate registration fee is required.

A gala welcome reception will get the fall conference off to a festive start on Monday evening. It's hosted by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, and will be held at the Federation's flagship Juan Valdez Café in midtown Manhattan.

The educational program begins on Tuesday morning. It will be keynoted by Ted Lingle, executive director of the Coffee Quality Institute and former executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Lingle is a pioneer not only in studying the technical aspects of coffee quality, but also in coffee education for the workplace services industry. In his introductory presentation, "Market-Based Approaches to Sustainability," he will discuss how strengthening and expanding the industry's commitment to sustainability requires a three-way collaboration among coffee businesses, nongovernmental organizations and donor agencies. Lingle will explore these roles, along with the conceptual foundations upon which a successful strategy can be built. The address is set for 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM.

Other timely and topical sessions will include a panel discussion on "The Value of Sustainability to a Coffee Program," from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Margaret Heery, Bunn-O-Matic Corp.; David Browning, TechnoServe; Dennis Macray, Starbucks Coffee Co.; and Karen Parker, Aramark Higher Education will bring a variety of perspectives to exploring how sustainable principles and practices can enable coffee providers to meet customer demands and their environmental responsibilities, while bolstering the bottom line.

From 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM, a panel of market research experts including Tom Vierhile, Datamonitor; Samuel Nahmias, StudyLogic; Robert Mandl, TNS; and James Soscie, Mediamark Research Inc., will identify and discuss critical coffee trends as they see them. Vierhile will provide an analysis of global new-product development trends in coffee, and Mandl will look at changing "share-of-mouth" beverage consumption habits and the way coffee beverages fit in with U.S. consumer preferences and behaviors. StudyLogic's Nahmias will explain the CDI (category development index), and show how some U.S. coffee markets may be overdeveloped while others are under-developed, and James Soscie will share current trends in lifestyle and attitudinal data relating to coffee consumption.

Steve Colten, Atlantic (USA) Inc., and George Saffadi, Olam Americas Inc., will host a hands-on cupping and grading session at the New York Board of Trade from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM. NYBOT coffee experts will provide pointers on differentiating flavors, observing coffee appearance and assessing flavor and aroma by cupping. Participants will learn to recognize defects in poor coffee and distinguish the nuances of high-grade beans.

NCA conference-goers will have the opportunity to wind down and compare notes with representatives of exhibiting companies during an Exhibitors' Reception from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Marriott.

On Wednesday morning, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, Randy Pope of Bunn-O-Matic Corp., will guide conference-goers through "The Bare Essentials and Finer Points of Quality Brewing." Pope will demonstrate the use of existing brewing technologies to control the five elements of coffee brewing perfection: water volume, temperature, contact time, turbulence and filtration for a perfect cup every time.

With coffee gaining attention for its health-related benefits, many roasters are seeking to fortify coffee to enhance those benefits. Michael Sweeney of Voyava will discuss The "Science of Fortification" on Wednesday from 11:15 AM to noon, providing a history of fortification in food, including coffee, and exploring the possibilities that are emerging in the category.

 The NCA Fall Educational Conference will conclude on a high note with the always-popular Mock Trading Session and networking reception on the trading floor of the Coffee Exchange at the New York Board of Trade from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM. This will offer a fast and furious introduction to the not-so-subtle art of trading coffee commodities.

For more information, or to register for NCA's Fall Educational Conference, visit its website at