Coffee News Recap, 4 Mar: US firms continue to settle in Kona lawsuit, SCA announces measures to support Ukraine & other stories
Every Friday, Perfect Daily Grind rounds up the top coffee industry news from the previous week. Here are this week’s stories.
Mon, 28 Feb
- More major US companies settle in Kona lawsuit. Kroger, Safeway, and Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co. all reached preliminary settlements in the Kona class action suit. Kroger Inc. agreed to pay US $1.35 million, Safeway agreed to certify future Kona-related claims from its vendors, and Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co. will remove any mention of Kona from its company name. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Kona coffee farmers in 2019 has now accumulated around US $15.25 million in settlements.
- Egypt National Barista Championships 2022 to be held in Cairo. The competition will be held at the Cafex event from 10 to 12 March. The winner will compete in the 2022 World Barista Championships, which will be held from 27 to 30 September in Melbourne.
- International Women’s Coffee Alliance Australia to host webinar on International Women’s Day. The virtual event will include producer and roaster Lucy Stocker from Crater Mountain Coffee in Queensland. The webinar will be held at 17:00 AEDT (6:00 GMT).
- Fairtrade sales in UK increased 14% in 2020. Research from the foundation also found that 65% of the UK population buys Fairtrade-certified products, including coffee.
- African direct trade platform to host NFT auction to support coffee farmers. Afrovalley’s BunaKoo auction will launch on 31 March, aiming to sell six digital pieces of art portraying the Ethiopian coffee industry. The platform hopes to donate 60% of sales to coffee quality and productivity programmes across Ethiopia.
- Reports of Ugandan coffee farmers protesting over International Coffee Organisation withdrawal. Some farmers indicated concern over Uganda’s suspension of the International Coffee Agreement, mainly over fears they may lose access to export markets in Europe. Uganda officially left the ICO in early February as the Uganda Coffee Development Authority stated membership was not in the best interests of the Ugandan coffee sector.
Tue, 1 Mar
- Sage Appliances launches Beanz subscription service in UK. The ecommerce platform allows users to purchase coffee based on their taste preferences. Roaster partners include Kiss The Hippo, Origin, Ozone Coffee Roasters, and Hasbean.
- Café Granja La Esperanza announced as host sponsor for PRF Colombia. As a host sponsor for the Origin Trip Experience, Café Granja La Esperanza will host up to 15 visitors on its farms in Valle del Cauca. The Origin Trip Experience will take place from 26 to 29 June, before the PRF Colombia event is held from 30 June to 1 July in Medellín.
- Nespresso UAE launches new DRC coffee line. The Reviving Origins KAHAWA ya CONGO coffee is sourced from producers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is the first organic blend in Nespresso’s Reviving Origins range.
- Ka’u Coffee Festival 2022 to be held virtually. The 13th annual Hawaiian coffee festival will take place digitally from 1 to 30 April. Events held at the festival will include Ka‘u Coffee College webinars and virtual tours of Ka’u coffee farms.
- US Roaster Championship selects Stronghold S7 Pro as official roasting machine sponsor. The South Korean company’s electric roasting machine will be used at the 2022 and 2023 competitions, with the 2022 championship taking place at the Specialty Expo from 7 to 10 April. This will be the first time that an electric roaster will be used at the competition.
- ofi reports over 18% revenue increase on 2020. The food and beverage ingredient trader (including coffee) states the total US $14.6 billion revenue earned in 2021 is an indication of strong recovery from the pandemic.
- Specialty Coffee Association to support Ukrainian coffee community. The SCA says it stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian coffee community after Russian military invaded the country on 24 February. The SCA will donate 100% of World of Coffee Warsaw ticket sales revenue to relief efforts supporting Ukrainian coffee businesses and professionals. The SCA has also suspended Russian participation in the 2022 World Coffee Championships.
Wed, 2 Mar
- World AeroPress Championship 2021 to be held on 5 March 2022. The competition will be held virtually from Bureaux Coffee in Melbourne, Australia, featuring 45 international competitors. Live coverage will begin at 10:00 AEDT (6:30 GMT) through the World AeroPress Championship website and Instagram stories.
- National Coffee Association’s 2022 virtual convention to be held from 8 to 10 March. The theme of this year’s annual convention is A World of Possibilities. Topics to be discussed include the frosts in Brazil and shipping and logistics issues across the coffee supply chain.
- Major coffee brands form independent organisation Global Coffee Institute. Costa Coffee, Eversys, Alpro, Matthew Algie, Gruppo Cimbali, BRITA, and Jacob Douwe Egberts have formed the organisation to share best practices, debate policy, and generate new business opportunities for the global coffee industry. The GCI claims its mission is to tackle the most pressing issues in the industry, such as long-term effects of Covid-19 and climate change.
- Lavazza hosts first session of youth coffee training programme in Honduras. In partnership with Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung and the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE), 25 Honduran trainees took part in a 2-day course held in Turin, Italy. The course covered sensory analysis of coffee, as well as information on coffee trading and prices.
- ICO to provide standardised data on costs of coffee production in new project. In partnership with the Committee on Sustainability Assessment, two projects will take place in Mexico and Rwanda to gather farmer-focused data, including farmgate prices. The aim of the projects is to design universal indicators that can be used in any coffee-producing country to provide consistent and reliable data.
- Nestlé reopens facilities in central and western Ukraine amid Russian invasion. Three factories closed across the country as the company ordered its 5,000 Ukrainian employees to remain at home due to the ongoing invasion. However, Nestlé reopened its factories to ensure essential food items can be delivered across the country.
Thu, 3 Mar
- Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association hosts Malaysia Coffee Week 2022. The in-person event is being held from 3 to 6 March in Selangor. The festival includes the Malaysia Barista Team Challenge competition.
- The Mokha Institute holds first Yemen Coffee Festival. In partnership with the Organisation for the Unity of Coffee, Yemeni Coffee Exporters Association, and the Union of Coffee Farmers, the 3-day event will take place in Al Sabeen Park, Sana’a. Alongside an exhibition and coffee tastings, the festival will include the National Day for Planting Coffee in Yemen, which will aim to plant 200,000 coffee trees in the country.
- US private label coffee company NuZee acquires Dripkit for US $860,000. Through the acquisition, the single-serve and single-use pour over maker Dripkit will now operate as Dripkit Coffee under NuZee.
- Artisan Coffee Co. partners with UK capsule recycling initiative. Artisan Coffee customers can order free Podback recycling bags, which can be dropped off at selected sites or placed for curbside collection for local participating waste collection organisations.
- Nguyen Coffee Supply receives US $2.6 million in seed funding round. Funds raised will be used to advance the women-owned company’s mission of showcasing high-quality Vietnamese coffee, as well as expanding distribution channels and product innovation.
- Starbucks Foundation to support 1 million women and girls in coffee-producing countries by 2030. The foundation has provided over 40 grants totalling US $14 million to promote leadership roles and economic opportunities for women, as well as improving access to clean water in 17 countries.
- Vietnam’s domestic coffee prices fall due to Ukraine conflict and economic sanctions on Russia. Prices closed at US $2,030 per tonne, which are the lowest levels since September 2021. Both Russia and Ukraine import robusta coffee from Vietnam.
Fri, 4 Mar
- Global Coffee Platform expands to include data reporting from Enveritas Green and LIFT by Mercon. GCP has expanded its Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases programme to include schemes from the two companies. This brings the number of schemes recognised by GCP to 11.
- New London coffee shop to provide training and employment opportunities for refugees. Trampoline Café will connect with refugees through Groundwork London and Hotel School, where they can take part in hospitality training programmes. Trampoline will serve coffee from social enterprise Redemption Roasters.
- Caffè Vergnano opens pop-up coffee shop in Dubai. The YKONE House in the Dubai Design District will remain open until 17 March. The coffee shop is also a co-working space and creative production studio.
- US Coffee Championships to be held at Specialty Coffee Expo. Six US competitions will be held at the event in Boston, including the US National Barista Championships. The expo will be held from 8 to 10 April.
- Dutch Bros announces 52% revenue increase on 2020. The US drive-thru coffee chain also opened 98 new locations throughout 2021, totalling 538 shops across 12 states.
- Interest in coffee health benefits increased over 650% in 2021. The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee stated internet searches for “health benefits of drinking coffee” increased 650% over the past 12 months, while searches for “benefits of black coffee” increased by 1,450% during the same period.
Here are a few news stories from previous weeks that you might find interesting. Take a look.
- Wed, 23 Feb – Krispy Kreme reports 23% increase in revenue on 2020. Full-year results ending January 2022 for the coffee and doughnut chain stated net revenues of US $1.4 billion. Krispy Kreme was valued at US $2.7 billion in a recent IPO.
- Thu, 24 Feb – ICO clarifies circumstances surrounding Uganda’s withdrawal. The ICO said it is reforming the International Coffee Agreement, which the organisation claims will help to support sustainable growth of the country’s coffee industry.
- Thu, 24 Feb – Milkadamia launches ready-to-drink coffee beverages. The RTD iced coffee and chai lattes are made using the plant-based company’s Barista Blend milk.
- Thu, 24 Feb – Keurig Dr Pepper reports 2021 net sales of coffee systems increased to US $4.72 billion. This represents an increase of 6.4% on 2020 net sales – including Keurig coffee machines.
- Fri, 25 Feb – Third US Starbucks store votes to unionise. Employees at the Mesa, Arizona location voted in favour of unionising in a 25 to 3 majority. Over 100 Starbucks locations are now petitioning to unionise. Ballots for three more stores in New York are waiting to be counted.
- Fri, 25 Feb – Café de Colombia holds cupping sessions at Expo Dubai. Fifteen Colombia coffee exporters were present at the event, which was held from 23 to 25 February.
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Photo credits: Julio Guevara