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Beans For Business – The Global Coffee Culture

News From : DagangHalal.com (27 Jan 2015)

As a world-class investment platform and international business facilitator, Gulfood 2015 – the landmark 20th edition of the world’s largest annual food and hospitality show – adds impetus to Dubai’s vision to become the premier global hub for foodstuff commodities trade, including coffee.

With coffee consumption across the Middle East continuing its upward trend, the UAE is gaining in popularity as one of the region’s major re-export hubs for coffee trading. Gulfood 2015, taking place 8 – 12 February 2015 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), is set to attract local, regional and international coffee traders exploring opportunities to export, import and re-export coffee across the MENA region and beyond.

History of Coffee
Enjoyed by the vast majority of the world’s population, a degree of mysticism surrounds the origins of coffee. Stories of legend, anthropology, archaeology and even theology trace coffee’s roots back to the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya – although several Middle East nations play key roles in the beverage’s spread across the globe.

History shows that eating the fruit of the plant – known as coffee cherries or coffee berries – originated in the present day Sudan. Migration took the practice to Yemen and Arabia, with archaeological evidence confirming that by the end of the 15th century the ritual of coffee drinking was common among the Sufis of Yemen.

Thus, the Middle East is where coffee drinking – as we know it today – truly began. Ever since the first cup of brewed coffee was enjoyed more than 600 years ago, coffee consumption has been at the heart of Middle Eastern culture and is still used as the standard welcome at home and in hotels as a symbol of hospitality.

The global proliferation of coffee is owed largely to the Dutch, who, having traded the product along Gulf of Eden trading posts in the early 17th century, went on to set up coffee plantations in India and Indonesia. After becoming the primary suppliers of coffee to Europe, the Dutch can also be credited for the spreading of the coffee plant to Central and South America.

Coffee, World’s Most Widely Traded Agricultural Commodity
Over the past 50 years, the world coffee market has undergone a considerable transformation. Consumption has increased at an annual growth rate of 1.9 percent – rising from 57.9 million bags (1 bag = 60kg) in 1964 to 142 million bags in 2011. As one of the world’s most widely traded commodities, coffee is second only to oil in trade value.

According to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), the total value of the industry in 2012 was estimated at USD 173.4 billion, with global production in 2012 and 2013 measured at 145 and 145.2 million bags, respectively. In 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture estimated global production to be 149.8 million bags. With some 70 countries producing coffee, major global exporters include Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Columbia, Ethiopia, India and Mexico, all Exporting Members of the ICO, which is responsible for 97 per cent of the world’s output.

Though the European Union, the United States and Japan have traditionally been the largest importers of coffee beans, recent years have seen a shift in demand with developed economies reaching saturation point and coffee-producing nations and emerging markets witnessing increases in demand and consumption. With improved economic and social development, rising income levels, higher living standards, younger and growing populations, and acquired new tastes, these markets are expected to significantly contribute to the growth in world consumption in coming years.

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