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World Coffee Alliance launches inaugural Summit & Exhibition at London’s QEII Centre

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LONDON, UK – World Coffee Alliance (WCA) is a leading network alliance of coffee professionals, market research consultants and stakeholders across the global coffee value chain, assisting SMEs in the UK, Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Greater China, and Southeast Asia.

Joseph de Villiers, CEO and Founder, of World Coffee Alliance (WCA) said, “We have been working with online webinars since the pandemic, not as an event organiser but using online platforms as a foundation to build relationship with various global coffee leaders, global brands, smallholder farmers and technology solution providers and deep dive into the real challenges in the coffee industry.

These problems are not new and have been with us for several years, even hundreds of years, but with no scalable progress. “We need to restructure our approach to be more inclusive, action-based and collaborative. In other words, we should put money where our mouth is”, he commented.

World Coffee Summit & Exhibition London on 13 September 2023 at QEII Centre is an inaugural, in-person event of the World Coffee Alliance (WCA), bringing together Governments, Ambassadors to the UK from Switzerland, Japan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Big global brands including Starbucks, UCC Coffee, Lavazza and Tesco Group, smallholder farmer groups and Cooperatives, United Nations institutions Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), European Commission, International Coffee Organization(ICO), Fairtrade International, International Trade Centre (ITC), British Coffee Association (BCA), Solidaridad and the financial community including Inter-American Development Bank(IDB), GARP Institute, Impact Finance and Systemiq.

Keynote Speakers include Anthony Hobley (Summit Chair), Former Executive Fellow, Co-chair, Advisory Board, World Economic Forum (WEF) and Senior Advisor to Inevitable Policy Response (IPR), Dr Dongyu Qu, Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rt. Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben, former Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (Welcome Keynote), Baroness Sandy Verma, Member of the UK House of Lords, Ex Minister for Energy, Climate Change and International Development, Prof Mark Maslin, Earth System Science, University College London (UCL)(Inspirational Speech), Dr Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit, INTPA, European Commission (EU), Vanusia Nogueira, Executive Director, International Coffee Organization (ICO), Clive de Ruig, President, ICE Benchmark Administration, Jo Paisley, President, GARP Risk Institute, Alp Somyurek, UK representative Turkish Coffee Culture and Research Association(TCCRA)and Dr Alvaro Lario, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (Closing Remarks).

Ambassadors speaking include H. E. Teferi Melesse Desta, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E Markus Leitner, Swiss Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E Guidel Morales, Echaverry, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mrs. Carmen María Gallardo, El Salvadoran Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Manoah Esipisu, High Commissioner for Kenya in the United Kingdom, H.E.Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


With the recent passage of the EUDR (Deforestation) and the need to fund transition under the legislation, the World Coffee Alliance (WCA) is bringing together the brightest and smartest people from the coffee industry, Climate Change and Global Finance.

“I always like to think outside the box. Maybe I am wrong, but my observation in the coffee industry is that we immersed ourselves into a different world, looking inwardly, and not worrying about what the other sectors can teach us and some best practices we can emulate.”

“I wonder why this is the case. I still do not have the answers. In short, to move the needle, we must have a collaborative mindset and look at our neighbours and learn from them to face all these hurdles and find some scalable solutions together” he continued.

Panel One with Q&A: Towards Climate-Positive Regenerative Solutions to Achieve Net Zero is moderated by Nigel Hunt, Global Soft Commodities Correspondent, Reuters. Panel members include Paul Rooke, Executive Director, British Coffee Association (BCA), Gert van de Bijl, Senior EU Policy Advisor, Solidaridad, Dr Martina Bozzola, Senior Advisor Sustainability and Livelihood, International Trade Centre (ITC) and Thomas Vaassen, CEO, Meridia.

Panel Two with Q&A: Innovative and Impact Investing Towards Sustainability is moderated by William Kennedy, Senior Executive Editor, Bloomberg. Panel members include Ana R Rios, Climate Change Senior Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), (Moderator), Katherine Stodulka, Partner and Director of Blended Finance, Systemiq, Cedric Lombard, Founder and CEO, Impact Finance.

Government, Investment and Innovation Roundtable: Towards a more collaborative approach to building an innovative and sustainable investment framework to protect natural resources is moderated by Anthony Hobley, Summit Chair. Panel members include H. E. Teferi Melesse Desta, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E Markus Leitner, Swiss Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Juan Cabrera, Vice Chair, VP for the UK, IoD Natural Resources Group, Government Blockchain Association (GBA) and Baroness Sandy Varma, member, UK House of Lords and Ex-Minister for Energy, Climate change and International Development.

Recently, the EUDR (Deforestation) has been passed by the European Parliament to make it mandatory for Operators to prove that the farms in which they sourced their coffee are free from deforestation and they must substantiate these claims by geospatial coordinates and polygons through their disclosure statements. Penalties for violations and non-compliance include 4% of their annual turnover.

The highlight of this event is the Fireside interviews “From First Mile to Last Mile” hosted by Shooka Bidarian, Environmental Correspondent and TV Presenter from Manoto TV with Dejene Dadi, General Manager, Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperatives Union (OCFCU) and Abdelrahman Fathalla, Founder, Guillam Coffee House.

ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) is the Summit Gold Sponsor and Guillam Coffee House is the Silver Sponsor. Co-Sponsors include International Trade Centre, Agriculture and Food Authority and Coffee Kenya. Media Partners include Team Blockchain and The Sustainable Investor.

World Coffee Exhibition London, a co-located event, which will be held on the same day on the 4th floor, of Westminster Hall, inviting 15 farmer exhibitors from countries of coffee origin including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Nicaragua and Burundi. CQI, Beantale, and Institute of Coffee are Exhibition and Cupping partners who will organise two cupping sessions at the event. Exhibitors include Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative, Dahab Specialty Farm, Berhanu Specialty Coffee, Eset Coffee all from Ethiopia, Mountain Harvest from Uganda, Kalico from Burundi, Tanin Global and Megnacio Compay from Tanzania, Rumani Coffee Ltd and Zillion AgriBusiness from Kenya, and Etico from Nicaragua. The Exhibition is open to coffee buyers, traders and roasters.

WCA just opened registration of the Exhibition to the public to share the cupping experience to a limited number of coffee lovers and enthusiasts and meet the coffee farmers from far-flung countries.


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