STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 4

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10 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 4, 2015 (August/September) NEWS As the debate on GMO foods ramps up steadily, charges of sell-outs and manipulation of data, along with claims of being on a lofty plane of spirituality or integrity, make it hard to evaluate the science involved. Often the debate is not about science. The fight over GMO commonly revolves instead around people's world views. We are in a cultural war about life, beauty, spirituality, and food. Genetically modified (or transgenic, bio-engineered) organisms are here to stay. Various groups especially loathe the term bio-engineering, suggesting that any product that has resulted from lab work should be rejected. But GMO will grow in importance around the globe, and it is already entering the coffee industry. Read the full report, a STiR Tea & Coffee web exclusive at: By Robert W. Thurston GMO and Coffee: The Cultural War is On Web Exclusive Myanmar's 1st Coffee Cupping Champions Two women coffee farmers won first and second place at Myanmar's first national cupping competition held in Yangon. The event was part of the USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development project implemented by Winrock Interna- tional and organized by the Myanmar Coffee Association (MCA) and Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). In an awards ceremony in Pyin Oo Lwin on July 18, smallholders Daw (Ms.) Phyu Pu of Pway-Na-Phar Village near Ywangan, Southern Shan State and Daw Mya Hnin of the same village were awarded top scores of 84.25 points and 84.08 points, respectively. In the large estate category, Blue Moun- tain, a 70-acre coffee estate in Pwe Kauk Village, placed first with 81.42 points, followed by Sithar Coffee Co. (81.08), a diversified coffee farm of 5 acres. U Than Aung finished third (80.75) for his Catimor variety arabica grown on 100 acres in Bant Bway, Naungchio, Northern Shan State. Learn more: COTECA Global Industry Expo COTECA (Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa/Global Industry Expo), is scheduled for Sept. 7-9, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. This is the fourth edition of this popular gathering of the coffee and tea industry at one of the most vibrant trading centers in Europe. The conference and tradeshow bring together well-known industry executives, manufacturers, analysts, and traders across the entire length of the supply chains serving the coffee, tea, and cocoa industries. The 2014 edition drew 3,000 participants from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Half were from outside Germany and more than 90% were decision makers. "Feedback was consistently positive across the board," said organizer Claudia Jeske with Hamburg Messe. Visit to subscribe to a free newsletter to bring the latest details of the event. Vietnam Privatizes Vinatea State owned Vietnam Tea Corp (Vinatea) will be listed publicly in September following an IPO expected to value the new company at $17 million. Vietnam earns $227 million annually from tea exports, ranking fifth globally. Hanoi-based Vinatea is Vietnam's largest tea exporter. Vietnam shipped 132,100 metric tons in 2014, down 6.3% from the previous year. Revenue was down 1% compared to 2013. The government is attempting to accelerate reform of the state sector at the request of prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung who cited low profitability and high levels of non-performing loans. A stake of 63.7% is available to strategic investors with 4.4% reserved for employees. Thong Nhat Production and Investment Co., has indicated it will buy 63.74% of the shares. About one-third (31.2%) of the shares, valued at $5.36 million, are to be sold to investors including foreign investors. Vinacafe, the state owned coffee export company, was privatized in 2011. Vinacafe and Vinatea are listed on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE). Wee Tea in Paris Scotland's first tea plantation launched its Dalreoch White tea at the Lowell in New York City in June and in July signed a $155,000 contract to supply Mariage Freres International, the premium salon de thé in Paris. "To meet demand we've taken on two more staff and are going to have to build a Scottish tea manufacturing base," said Wee Tea Plantation owner and managing director Tam O'Braan. Posters announcing the new tea appeared in 19 Paris shop windows and were the focus of a twitter campaign. "We're delighted that raising our profile in New York led directly to the deal with Mariage director Humbert de Beaumont," said O'Braan. "It is truly fantastique! As they say in France." Learn more: CQI's Marcelo Pereira poses with two women coffee cupping champions, Daw Phyu Pu, left, and Daw Mya Hnin, right.

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