The Coffee Board of India is set to embark upon a new branding exercise to popularise Indian coffee and is in the process of evaluating six different firms to help it in the branding exercise. Currently, the board has had talks with some branding gurus such as Piyush Pandey, R. Balki and others and is in the process of zeroing in on a firm to help it in the new branding exercise. “We want to popularise the unique Indian coffee story and also want the world to start appreciating Indian coffee. We also aim to increase the domestic consumption of coffee in India which is predominantly a tea drinking nation,” remarked Srivatsa Krishna, secretary, Coffee Board of India while announcing the 7th edition of the India International Coffee Festival (IICF) which will be held in Bengaluru in January 2018.
Krishna said that it would be the aim of the Coffee Board to popularise coffee drinking not only in the metro cities of the country but also in tier II and tier III cities. “We want to infuse technology in coffee and are talking to some technology and biotech companies that will help us in streamlining and bettering coffee production. The persistent attack by the white stem borer pest has been responsible for destroying the Arabica coffee crop in the country and we want to control this. We are talking to some biotech companies to help us contain this pest,” remarked Krishna. He also informed that India will be hosting the World Coffee Conference in 2020 and the board was gearing up for this.
Priyank M. Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka, remarked that Karnataka accounts for 70 per cent of the total coffee produced in the country and it would be his department's endeavour to promote experiential tourism at different coffee growing regions in the state such as Coorg, Chikmaglur and Sakleshpur. “People are looking for experiential tourism in the coffee growing districts of Karnataka. These places have great landscapes with unique culture and cuisines which can be experienced through homestays. We are also supporting many startups which are offering unique coffee delivery and consumption platforms through the startup pavilion at the coffee festival to be held in January,” he said.
Interestingly, India is the only country where coffee is still grown in the rain forests and around 70 per cent of coffee that is grown in the country is exported. India, however, accounts only for 4 per cent of the global coffee market share.
The IICF will be inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industries and it will have international experts from countries such as Brazil, UK, USA, Columbia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Thailand, besides India. Global Coffee Leaders such as Jose Sette, Executive Director, International Coffee Organization, Roberto Vélez, CEO, Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, Dr Sanjiv Chopra, professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School will be gracing the festival. Besides this, there will be skill building workshops that will provide coffee enthusiasts and coffeeprenuers training in coffee roasting and brewing through seven sessions.
Additionally, there would be product launches, Coffee Quiz, Coffee Awards, Golf Championship, Café Crawl besides other activities. Brands such as Hindustan Unilever, Tata Coffee, Nestle, Consolidated Coffee Limited, Astoria, Buhler and Kaapi Machines will participate in the event.