2012 Annual Convention Program Descriptions


Full Steam Ahead:
Solutions for Tomorrow's Industry

March 22-24, 2012
Charleston Place Hotel, SC




Setting Your Course in an Uncertain Economy
Brown Brothers Harriman analyst offers expert insights into current economic directions in an in-depth analysis of the dynamics underlying today’s markets.

Keeping an Eye on the “C” Market: Bulls, Bears and Beholders
In debate format, bulls and bears discuss the volatile "C" Market and posit causes, dynamics and outcomes, moderated by an objective observer seeking answers for an industry looking on with nervous anticipation.

Keeping California at Bay: The Threat of Proposition 65 to Coffee Commerce
Roasters and retailers have been sued under California's Proposition 65 on grounds of failure to warn consumers about acrylamide, a cooking byproduct in many foods. Scientific and legal presentations on Prop 65’s provisions and the current lawsuits will be followed by a Town-Hall style Q&A.

Business Luncheon:
The Wine Quotient: Marketing Coffee Varietals

Move over Merlot and Riesling. Coffee has Bourbon and Caturra, among other true varietals with unique flavor profiles. At the Business Luncheon, diners will experience these varietals and the desserts they complement.

Will Climate Change Affect Quality Coffees?
Will changes in coffee growing regions’ delicately balanced microclimates impact coffee supply or disrupt subtle flavor distinctions? In two breakout sessions, perspectives from two origin nations will be presented by Cenicafé, the Colombian Coffee Federation's research center, and Guatemala's Anacafé.

Cup of Excellence Goes Natural – A New Competition for Brazilian Coffees
The Cup of Excellence's new Brazilian Naturals competition marks the first full exploration of quality Brazils. This breakout session features tasting/cupping, competition results and the criteria for what makes a great natural.

Gourmet Coffee – On the Tip of Your Tongue?
As quality coffees proliferate, coffee drinkers have begun to regard them as mainstream options. In this session, coffee experts explore the definition of “gourmet,” which is far from a neat Webster’s definition.

Riding Coffee’s “Fourth Wave”
If the “Third Wave” was about taste, the “Fourth Wave” is about preparation. In this breakout session, microroasters describe how they are wringing enhanced flavor nuances out of the quality bean and how larger roasters could learn from their models.

Single-Cup Systems Come of Age
In this general session, industry experts will explore the single-cup craze and discuss ways to adopt and market this fast growing format.

Coffee To Go: Supermarkets, Office Coffee Systems and C-Stores
Consumers regularly fill their coffee needs via supermarkets, work and convenience stores. Researchers from the Cleveland Group and NPD zero in on consumer trends in these important channels in a timely general session.

NCA's New Hispanic Market Research: A First Look
Expanding the highly respected 60-year franchise of tracking U.S. coffee drinking behaviors, NCA this year introduces new research dedicated to analyzing behaviors of semi- and non-acculturated Hispanic consumers, fielded in Spanish. At this general session, preliminary findings will offer the industry's first look at this exploding market segment.

Sneak Peak at National Coffee Drinking Trends
NCA's National Coffee Drinking Trends has become the industry bellwether for tracking U.S. coffee consumption behaviors. In this breakout session, convention attendees get a sneak peak at this year's findings.

Coffee Certifications: One Goal, Many Approaches
While the common focus is on long-term environmental and humanitarian responsibility, different certifying groups engage their own paradigms for certifying coffee. This breakout session explores the fine points of different certifications.

Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager: An Affair with Coffee
In the debate on causes for market volatility, hypotheses include the jittery state of equities for investment, supply and demand imbalances, and speculation and risk management. In this very timely breakout session, a prominent hedge fund manager discusses the fascination with coffee as an investment channel.