India to host Asia's first World Coffee Conference in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, the vibrant metropolis often hailed as the Silicon Valley of India, is set to make history by hosting the prestigious 5th World Coffee Conference (WCC). Organized by the International Coffee Organization (ICO), headquartered in London under the United Nations umbrella, this grand event will be a testament to India’s growing significance in the global coffee industry. Marking a milestone for both India and Asia, this four-day coffee extravaganza will kick off on September 25, 2023.

India’s Moment in the Coffee Spotlight

K.G. Jagadeesha, the CEO and Secretary of the Coffee Board, expressed immense pride in India’s role as the host of the 5th WCC. He stated that receiving ICO’s approval to host this international event is a monumental recognition of India’s prowess as a leading producer of high-quality coffee and its thriving coffee ecosystem. Mr. Jagadeesha remarked, “To make it unique, vibrant, and memorable, the board has the active support of 16 coffee committees with each outfit coming with 25 different stakeholders.”

Despite India’s production of top-tier coffee, Mr. Jagadeesha acknowledged that Indian coffee still lacks the global recognition it deserves. He emphasized the importance of altering this perception and highlighted that Indian robusta, renowned for its quality, is among the world’s finest. Even India’s arabica, often considered the second best globally, commands premium prices on par with Colombian arabica, which is considered the world’s finest. Mr. Jagadeesha pointed out that Colombia has conducted extensive consumer campaigns, which has shaped its coffee’s perception worldwide.

With India’s coffee exports exceeding $1 billion, the Coffee Board anticipates immediate benefits from the WCC. They expect a significant boost, with export volumes and values potentially growing by 10 to 15%. This, Mr. Jagadeesha believes, will help India carve out a distinct coffee brand in the global market.

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A Jolt to India’s Coffee Industry

The WCC is expected to have a cascading effect on India’s domestic coffee market as well. It will bring greater attention to technology, investments, entrepreneurship, employment generation, and the creation of diverse coffee varieties, offering consumers an array of choices. The event promises to be a big draw for stakeholders in the coffee industry.

Over 2,400 individuals, including coffee growers, roasters, curers, exporters, traders, cafe chain owners, and retailers, have already registered for the WCC. This diverse group includes more than 300 foreign delegates from 60 different countries. The event will also see participation from 40 global CEOs and 50 Indian CEOs, making it a significant congregation of coffee industry leaders. The Coffee Board has distributed 36,000 business delegate passes, with an additional 15,000 passes set to be distributed or sold, further highlighting the conference’s immense popularity and reach.

As Bengaluru gears up to host the 5th World Coffee Conference, anticipation is brewing not only in India but also in coffee circles worldwide. With this unprecedented event, India is poised to make its mark on the global coffee stage, correcting the perception mismatch and taking its rightful place as a distinguished coffee producer.