Chinese market more “on our radar,” says Brazilian coffee exporter
Brazil’s coffee industry, the world’s No. 1 producer and exporter of the bean, is drumming up business in China’s traditionally tea-drinking market, president of the Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council (Cecafe), Nelson Carvalhaes, said.
“You have to at least look at the past two decades of China’s growth — the growth of a consuming middle class that is a very beautiful story — and if you look at the development of China, it serves as an example of the potential that Brazilian coffee can have there,” Carvalhaes said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Brazilian coffee companies of all sizes took part in the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in 2018, participated again in 2019 and are registered to showcase their products at the upcoming third CIIE to be held from Nov. 5 to Nov.10 in Shanghai this year.
Cecafe, with the support of the Brazilian embassy in Beijing, has designed a 2021 publicity campaign that aims to arm Chinese cafes and supermarkets with the material they need to promote Brazilian coffee to their customers, including information about certificates of quality and of origin, and the sanitary measures that are part of the production process.
“Our idea is to supply Brazilian coffee to coffee shops in China, to make the product known to consumers through educational material and certificates of origin. We have video and magazine production to explain the path of Brazilian coffee to the cup,” Carvalhaes said.
It would also help to have Chinese buyers visit Brazil’s variety of coffee farms to acquire “familiarity with a way of production that has more than 300 years of experience,” he said.
“Brazil is a continent-sized country. It produces in different regions with different characteristics. It’s as if it has several coffee-growing countries within the country,” the industry expert added.
Brazil accounts for some 38 percent of the global coffee market. “Out of every three cups of coffee served around the world, one and a little of the second is from Brazil,” said Carvalhaes.
China has been Brazil’s main trading partner since 2009 and agricultural goods have been driving Brazilian exports to the Asian country.
“It would be interesting to strengthen ties with China even more,” he said.
While tea is more traditional in China, Cecafe believes coffee consumption is on the upswing as a growing middle class adopts more urban habits, such as frequenting cafes.
It would be a mistake to compete with the deeply-rooted custom of tea drinking, Carvalhaes said. Instead, producers want to complement it.
“Brazil has cachet in the global coffee market and China is undoubtedly more and more on our radar,” said Carvalhaes.