The International Coffee Organisation’s (ICO) new market development strategy with a focus on agronomical practices is expected to help growers. The shift is for value creation and differentiation instead of traditional promoting coffee consumption strategy.

The new strategy has been professed by Andrea Illy, Chairman of ICO’s Promotion and Market Development Committee, and is currently in circulation among the ICO-member countries for their approval.

“Illy’s proposal is to help small producers (growers) get higher income by helping them to improve their agronomical practices,” Jawaid Akhtar, Coffee Board Chairman, told Business Line. Akhtar represented India at the recently-concluded ICO’s International Coffee Council (ICC) meet in London.

In the draft plan, presented to the International Coffee Council (ICC), Illy has kept in mind the development of the coffee sector in the 10 years since the crisis of low prices in 2001 and ICO’s roleHe also recommended that the committee’s efforts should continue, with renewed objectives and a holistic multi-stakeholder approach be planned. Illy has presented two-pronged approach for coffee promotion and market development. First is to promote value through quality, health and sustainability. Possible actions such as measuring the impact of the main value components on coffee consumption. Continuing existing knowledge dissemination programmes, such as the healthcare professions–coffee education programme (HCP-CEP) and stimulating new programmes.

Second is to support producing countries in de-commoditising coffee through programmes to increase income, with a particular focus on small growers, with the ICO acting as a facilitator and knowledge provider.

anil.u@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 15, 2012)
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