The Brazilian industry wishes to increase exports of toasted and ground coffee. The objective is to add value to national production and increase revenues with sales abroad, still mainly due to green coffee.
In this growth strategy, the Arab countries showed up as a potential market. "In the next five years there will be important advances," said Guivan Bueno, president of the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association (ABIC).
Measures to stimulate coffee industrialization have been taken by the sector for, at least, two and a half years.
In 2002, the State of São Paulo Coffee Industry Union and the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex) established the Integrated Sectorial program for Industrialized Coffee Exports (PSI).
The result: between 2002 and 2004 the product’s exports increased 45.6%, going from US$ 5.7 million to US$ 8.3 million.
The volume is still small, but there is growing interest from entrepreneurs to participate.
The program started with 13 companies, of which only three were exporters. Currently there are 37 in the whole country, of which 20 sell to foreign countries.
The aim of the program is to direct the companies to carry out efficient management, adapting their products to the global markets’ tastes.
There are, also, incentives for a change in production focus: stimulation for the production of gourmet coffee, capable of satisfying the palate of the most demanding markets.
In the search for new markets, there are interesting alternatives such as the Arab countries, where the competition is strong, especially with the Italian and German products.
"Our relationship with the Middle East is starting now," said Christian Santiago, executive coordinator of the PSI.
"We know there are some factories that already sell to countries like Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. But it’s not a continuous flow," observed the president of ABIC. There is, however, a market to be conquered.
The industrialization of the raw material is a fundamental initiative in a country that is the greatest green coffee exporter in the world.
In the year the PSI was created, Brazil exported 27 million bags of the raw product , against only 5 million of the industrialized product.
Countries such as Germany – the greatest buyer – purchase the grains, process them and resell, at a much higher price.
Omar Nasser is from the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná (Fiep).