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World Coffee Producers Forum line-up announced

Bean and cherry in handWorld-renowned expert and leader in sustainable development, Professor Jeffrey Sachs will be the as keynote speaker at the first World Coffee Producers Forum.

To be held in Medellin, Colombia, the forum includes speakers and analysts of international stature and will address issues that affect the entire coffee industry, making this event a must.

The recently elected Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), José Sette, the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and the CEO of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), Roberto Velez, will also participate in the opening ceremony, along with representatives of African, Asian and Latin American coffee producers.

The first World Coffee Producers Forum is a unique initiative of its kind that aims at addressing the challenges that could prevent the value chain from being sustainable in the future, such as a more equitable distribution of income in the coffee value chain, productivity and climate change adaptation with an approach of co-responsibility of all stakeholders. The event will take place from 10 to 12 July, 2017.

The forum's academic agenda will address issues that are common challenges to all coffee-producing countries and pose a threat to the industry as a whole. Economic sustainability of coffee growers, rural development, socioeconomic indicators, climate change adaptation, productivity, price volatility, generational change, and labour are some of them.

Thematic working groups will analyse challenges of coffee production and trading and make recommendations on how to deal with them.

Other figures of international stature attending the Forum as moderators or speakers are Ric Rhinehardt, Executive Director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), Fred Kawuma, Secretary General of the Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO), Silas Brasileiro, Executive Director of Brazil's National Coffee Council (NCC) and Annette Pensel, Executive Director of the Global Coffee Platform.

Ronald Peters, Executive Director of Costa Rica's Coffee Institute (Icafé), René León, President of Promecafé, Ishak Lukenge, President of the Uganda Chapter and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA), and Vanusia Nogueira, Executive Director of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) will also participate in the forum as moderators or panel members.

Among industry representatives attending the forum will be representatives from global companies like Starbucks. Several of these will also take part as speakers or panelists, such as Marcelo Burity, Head of Green Coffee Development at Nestlé, and Andrea Illy, Chairman of Illycaffè.

During the conference, attendees will be able to taste coffees from all the producing countries that will participate in the forum.

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