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Costa Rica’s oldest cooperative plans expansion in the Chinese market

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – CoopeVictoria, the first cooperative founded in Costa Rica some 75 years ago, now plans to compete for a larger share of China’s growing consumer market by attending the first ever China International Import Expo (CIIE) slated for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai.

“We see it as a very attractive market, a market that really interests us to maintain, to cultivate, to learn more deeply about and, of course, strive to have this product reach the right niche,” said Wenceslao Rodriguez, CoopeVictoria’s general manager.

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The cooperative, which started its export business with China in January of this year, will feature two kinds of its gourmet coffee at the CIIE: Victoria Expreso and Victoria Medium Roast, which are offered in 500- and 250-gram packages.

The production process undergoes strict agronomic supervision and testing to ensure the beans achieve the right level of acidity, aroma and flavor, said Rodriguez.

With quality control mastered, the cooperative’s next big challenge is to claim a bigger stake of China’s rising coffee sales.

“The young, especially, want to try different products, and coffee is a different beverage, distinct from tea,” said said Wenceslao Rodriguez, CoopeVictoria’s general manager.

“It’s an alternative that is already starting to gain popularity in China, so we see an excellent market opportunity,” he said.