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    July 11th, 2017adminCoffee News, World Opinion

    Nilphamari farmer defies odds to produce the beans

    Beans harvested from the coffee plants of Abdul Kuddus in Munsipara village of Nilphamari's Kishoreganj upazila. Photo: Star

    Beans harvested from the coffee plants of Abdul Kuddus in Munsipara village of Nilphamari’s Kishoreganj upazila. Photo: Star

    by EAM Asaduzzaman and Andrew Eagle

    Bangladesh has a long, established history as a producer of quality tea. As for that other hot beverage, coffee, despite rising popularity among Bangladeshi consumers over the past few decades, there is no such agricultural tradition. Nursery owner Abdul Kuddus, from Munsipara village in Nilphamari’s Kishoreganj upazila, however, has taken the first steps to change that. He decided to grow coffee, driven by nothing more than unstoppable curiosity.

    “I first heard about coffee in 2009 at a conference run by the Nursery Owners Association,” says Abdul, an energetic septuagenarian who yet walks with a spring in his step. “For a long time I wanted to grow it but I couldn’t procure any saplings.”

    “For about the whole of his life Abdul has been inquisitive on the subject of rare plants,” explains his neighbour Fazal Kadir, a primary school headmaster.

    “Finally in 2014, I managed to purchase 254 coffee saplings from Cox’s Bazar,” Abdul continues.

    Abdul Kuddus

    Abdul Kuddus

    “I contacted the agriculture extension department for advice on how to grow it, but they were uninterested.” Thus Abdul relied on common sense, planting the saplings on his fifteen decimals with a reasonable distance between each one.

    The plants seemed to appreciate Abdul’s efforts. With organic fertiliser they grew quickly. He decided to prune them, cutting their tops such that they didn’t grow any higher than five feet. In 2016 Abdul held his breath. The two-year-old crop for the first time began to grow fruit, which blackened as they ripened.

    Abdul’s family was unimpressed. Who’d ever heard of coffee being grown in Nilphamari?

    “We forbade father to proceed,” recalls his son Md Akram. “We told him all his efforts would be in vain but he didn’t listen. He collected the mature fruit and used a wooden tool, a “dheki” to break them open and bring out the beans.”

    “Of course there is no specialised machine to crush coffee here,” says Abdul. “So I took the beans to a flour mill and ask them to grind it. I got 67 kilograms of coffee powder.”

    Despite the innovative refining process involved, Abdul’s groundbreaking coffee is proving popular.

    “The coffee produced in Kishoreganj upazila tastes really good and has a nice aroma,” says Siddiqur Rahman, who used to be the upazila nirbahi officer of Kishorganj and now works as an additional deputy commissioner in Narail district.

    “I tasted Abdul’s coffee and found it better than the imported brands available in the market,” says Sayed Hossain Shabul, president of a local citizens’ committee.

    Based on the favourable reviews of consumers, Abdul went to the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution in Rajshahi some months ago to apply for a licence for his coffee.

    “They said it was not on their list, so I failed,” he says. “However I did get recognition from the district civil surgeon’s office which issued a licence under the Food Safety Act 2013 under the name “The Bismillah Coffee”.

    Eight ounces of coffee contains 135 milligrams of caffeine, explains Prof Abdul Latif, head of the botany department at Nilphamari Government College.

    “It’s a popular drink that serves as an energy source. The plant is bushy, of medium height and evergreen. It yields bunches of small, marble-like green fruit which is then crushed to extract the coffee powder.”

    Abdul earned Tk 1.3 lakh from this year’s coffee crop, selling it for Tk 2,000 per kilogram in Dhaka.

    Now he wants to extend his plantation to cover thirty decimals. “If the government and private entrepreneurs get on board,” Abdul says, “then coffee cultivation can be a profitable segment of our agricultural future.”

    In the meantime, the local community is already convinced. Several locals have decided to follow Abdul’s lead, buying coffee saplings from his nursery at Tk 250 per piece.

    source: http://www.thedailystar.net / The Daily Star / Home> Back Page / by EAM Asaduzzaman & Andrew Eagle / July 09th, 2017

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    July 11th, 2017adminCoffee News, World Opinion

    Among people of various ethnicities and cultures, higher coffee consumption — whether caffeinated or decaffeinated — was associated with all-cause and cause-specific mortality benefits, according to two new studies published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

    “Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and in the U.S. population,” Song-Yi Park, PhD, from the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center, and colleagues wrote. “Therefore, even a small health-promoting effect of coffee could have a substantial impact on public health.”

    Researchers for both studies noted that although recent studies have found that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower risk for all-cause death, the relationship between consumption and mortality in nonwhites and diverse European populations is unknown.

    The first study, focusing on nonwhite populations in the United States, included 185,855 blacks (17%), Native Hawaiians (7%), Japanese Americans (29%), Latinos (22%) and whites (25%) who were aged between 45 and 75 years at the time of recruitment from 1993 to 1996. Park and colleagues evaluated coffee consumption via a validated food-frequency questionnaire, which was updated approximately every 5 years. A total of 16% of participants reported not drinking coffee, 31% drank one cup a day, 25% drank two to three cups a day, 7% drank four or more cups a day and 21% had irregular coffee drinking habits. Participants were followed until 2012.

    During an average follow-up of 16.2 years, 58,397 deaths occurred. After adjusting for smoking and other potential confounders, the researchers identified an association between coffee intake and lower total mortality among those who drank one cup per day (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.85-0.91); two to three cups per day (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.86); or four or more cups per day (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.78-0.87]). Participants who drank one cup of coffee per day and two to three cups of coffee per day had a 12% and 18%, reduced risk of death, respectively. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee produced similar trends, according to the researchers.

    The inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality was significant for all ethnic groups studied except Native Hawaiians. Furthermore, never-smokers, participants younger than 55 years and those without chronic disease also demonstrated an inverse relationship. Intake of coffee consumption lowered the risk for death due to heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

    “Our findings support the recent dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which indicate that moderate coffee consumption can be integrated into a healthy diet and lifestyle, by confirming an inverse association with mortality and suggesting that association’s generalizability to different racial/ethnic groups,” Park and colleagues concluded.

    These results can be applied to other ethnic groups without safety concerns because the association was observed in four different ethnicities, Veronica W. Setiawan, PhD, lead author from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, said in a press release.

    “This study is the largest of its kind and includes minorities who have very different lifestyles,” Setiawan said. “Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian.”

    “Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention,” she continued. “Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this ‘elixir effect,’ it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

    “We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” she added. “If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”

    The second study, led by Marc J. Gunter, PhD, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, focused on coffee intake and mortality risk in European populations, and included 521,330 participants mainly aged 35 years or older from Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Gunter and colleagues recruited these participants between 1992 and 2000.

    According to the data, 41,693 participants died during a mean follow-up of 16.4 years. The researchers observed a statistically significant lower all-cause mortality for participants in the highest quartile of coffee intake compared with those who did not drink coffee, among men (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.82-0.95) and women (HR = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.87-0.98). In addition, death due to digestive disease was lower in relation to coffee consumption for both men (HR = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.32-0.54) and women (HR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.46-0.78). The researchers found a statistically significant inverse relationship between coffee intake and with circulatory disease mortality (HR = 0.78; 95% CI, 0.68-0.9) and cerebrovascular disease mortality (HR = 0.7; 95% CI, 0.55-0.9) among women, as well as a positive association with ovarian cancer mortality (HR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.07-1.61).

    Gunter and colleagues also evaluated whether coffee consumption was associated with serum biomarkers of liver function, inflammation and metabolic health in a subcohort of 14,800 participants. They found that higher intake of coffee was linked to lower serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, as well as C-reactive protein, lipoprotein(a) and glycated hemoglobin levels in women.

    “We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases,” Gunter said in a press release. “Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs. Our study also offers important insights into the possible mechanisms for the beneficial health effects of coffee.”

    “Due to the limitations of observational research, we are not at the stage of recommending people to drink more or less coffee,” he added. “That said, our results suggest that moderate coffee drinking — up to around three cups per day — is not detrimental to your health, and that incorporating coffee into your diet could have health benefits.”

    The researchers emphasized that more studies are necessary to determine which compound in coffee may be responsible for benefiting health and to explore the effect of coffee consumption on health outcomes.

    “These findings add to a growing body of evidence which indicates that drinking coffee not only is safe, but it may actually have a protective health effect for people,” Elio Riboli, MD, ScM, coauthor of the study from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said in the release. “While further research is needed, we can be confident that the results from a large European study confirm previous findings seen around the world.”

    In an accompanying editorial, Eliseo Guallar, MD, DrPH, from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues note that the relationship between coffee consumption and mortality “was modest and sensitive to confounding.”

    “Recommending coffee intake to reduce mortality or prevent chronic disease would be premature,” they wrote. “However, it is increasingly evident that moderate coffee intake up to three to five cups per day or caffeine intake up to 400 mg/d is not associated with adverse health effects in adults and can be incorporated into a healthy diet.” – by Alaina Tedesco

    References:

    Guallar E, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2017;doi:10.7326/M17-1503.

    Gunter MJ, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2017;doi:10.7326/M16-2945.

    Park SY, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2017;doi:10.7326/M16-2472.

    Disclosure: Park and colleagues report funding from the National Cancer Institute. Gunter and colleagues report funding from the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Guallar and colleague report no relevant financial disclosures.

    source: http://www.healio.com / Healio / Home> Internal Medicine> Nutritional Fitness> In the Journals / July 10th, 2017

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    June 18th, 2017adminCoffee News, Uncategorized

    CoffeeBrewKF18jun2017

    Here’s a lowdown on the new ways to brew your daily cuppa

    Upon entering Bengaluru’s The Flying Squirrel, I hear the distinct hum of a coffee roasting machine. The cosy 36-seater café and micro roastery is not just another coffee shop. It is all about artisan coffee. The sharp aroma of freshly-roasted coffee wafts in from the coffee bar, where Ashish D’Abreo, one of the founders of The Flying Squirrel, is brewing a cup of Pour-Over coffee. He looks up briefly, flashes a smile, and explains upon seeing intrigue on my face, that this is among the most popular kinds of brewing.

    On a ceramic cup, a thin piece of filter paper is placed. Ashish weighs coffee powder on a swanky-looking weighing machine. “You need about 25 grams of coffee powder,” he explains, and then places the coffee powder on the filter paper, while carefully pouring small amounts of water. “You brew the coffee gradually,” says D’Abreo as he pours the water, starting from the edges of the filter paper in a spiral motion. “In this method, water doesn’t stay with the coffee too long. So it gives a medium body and a very nice aroma.” I sip on it and savour the smooth taste of the coffee.

    But the heat makes enjoying a hot cuppa rather difficult. If you still need your caffeine fix, then there is always cold brew, which, informs D’Abreo, is not very well known; but people in India are beginning to understand it. “When you heat coffee, you get a certain acidity. There’s a gentleness and sweetness to cold brewed coffee. For about 200 grams of coffee, you put one litre water. The coffee powder has to be coarsely ground. Let the coffee stay in the cold water for about 14 hours. Soluble coffee bleaches into the water. After 14 hours, strain this out,” he says.

    Then there is moka pot, also known as macchinetta, which means small machine. “Put water into the bottom shaper. Put filter coffee on the filter basket with ground coffee, tamp it lightly, screw on the lower chamber, place it on a flame for 35 to 40 seconds. Pressure builds up the chamber and coffee goes up through the device.”

    Air play

    The next is AeroPress. “The coffee powder used for the AeroPress is slightly coarser than the one used in a moka pot. Lock in one spoon of coffee powder. Wet the coffee a little bit, making the coffee soak in a lot more. Leave it for a few seconds. Then fill water till level one. Give it a quick stir and create an air lock. For espresso, leave it for 30 seconds, for black coffee one minute, and for coffee with milk and sugar, a minute and a half.” Then with a bit of force, D’Abreo presses down the device, saying: “and the coffee is ready.”

    At The Flying Squirrel, coffee is freshly roasted and ground everyday and retailed across the country; it is sold across the counter as well as ordered online on www.flyingsquirrel.in. The coffee is grown in their estates in Coorg in Karnataka. Tej Thammaiah, the other founder, belongs to the Ajjikuttira family, and is a third-generation farmer, who is at the helm of affairs in the Nellikad estate where coffee is grown, along with pepper, vanilla, citrus fruits, avocados, ginger and honey.

    “Roasted coffee is perishable,” informs D’Abreo, “It is best to consume it within a month.” He goes on to add that the coffee we get at stores is roasted months in advance. “Our coffee is roasted not more than days back. It is dispatched at the earliest.”

    As to the question of the many varieties of coffee preparations that keep coming up, D’Abreo replies: “Dark roast is the easiest way to camouflage the flaws in your coffee.”

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style> Food / Sravasti Datta / June 08th, 2017

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    Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurating a public meeting at Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district on Thursday.

    Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurating a public meeting at Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district on Thursday.

    Demands include support to coffee cultivation and checking elephant menace

    Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman interacted with coffee growers at Mudigere on Thursday. The growers placed a number of demands before her, including finding a permanent solution to the elephant menace.

    Representatives of Karnataka Growers’ Federation, Black Gold League and other organisations participated in the interaction.

    B.L. Shankar, coffee planter and former MP, said the production of Arabica coffee had been declining every year. He wanted the government to take steps to support Arabica cultivation.

    “Coffee cultivation has been hit by many problems; there is also shortage of workers,” he said.

    Lok Sabha member Shobha Karandlaje stressed the need for research to address the stem borer attack, which had been causing huge losses to the growers.

    C.T. Ravi, Chikkamagaluru MLA, wanted an ESI hospital in Chikkamagaluru, as there were a large number of workers in the plantations. Black Gold League president Kenjige Keshava appealed to the Minister to set up a spices park in Chikkamagaluru.

    Interest waiver

    Representatives of Karnataka Growers’ Federation sought waiver of interest on coffee loans and also five instalments to repay the dues.

    B.S. Jairam, chairman of the federation, told The Hindu: “We submitted a memorandum listing all our demands. We have sought waiver of interest and bringing down interest on loans. We have also urged the government to take measures to check elephant menace in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts.”

    Ms. Sitharaman said the government would take steps to increase coffee production and expand its market overseas.

    “Growers in Andhra Pradesh, who began coffee cultivation only a few years ago, have succeeded in marketing it in America. If they could do, why can’t the growers in Hassan, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru do?” she asked. The government was committed to encouraging coffee growers. After many years, and for the first time, a coffee planter had been appointed chairman of the Coffee Board. This showed the government’s commitment to supporting coffee cultivation, she added.

    Coffee Board chairman M.S. Boje Gowda was present during the interaction.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States / by Special Correspondent / Chikkamagaluru – June 16th, 2017

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    WildKaapi01KF03jun2017 Wild Kaapi, your morning coffee comes from certified estates that support gaurs, elephants and monkeys, along with Arabica beans

    Under the cool canopy of native trees in the Western Ghats, coffee bushes spread out, gleaming with red berries. In the early morning hours, if you are lucky, you may spot rare species like the Malabar grey hornbill, water snow flat butterfly or the Asian fairy bluebird among these shade-loving plants. And now, thanks to the efforts of Wild Kaapi — the world’s first ‘certified wildlife-friendly’ coffee brand — you can ensure your morning brew comes from plantations that foster fauna on their lands. Started by wildlife conservationist, Krithi K Karanth — who has has been working in the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot, for the last 19 years — and her husband, Avinash Sosale, the coffee brand got its certification this April and opened its doors to buyers last month.

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    Live and let live

    Wild Kaapi started as an offshoot of a three-year research project (part of a grant by the National Science Foundation to study coffee, areca and rubber plantations in the Western Ghats). Karanth, of the Centre for Wildlife Studies — with Paul Robbins of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr Ashwini Chhatre of University of Illinois — measured biodiversity, and studied labour practices and market dynamics of the farming areas.

    During the project, she interacted with over 1,000 planters in the three coffee growing areas of Karnataka — Kodagu, Chikmagalur, and Hassan — and realised how frustrated they were “because they weren’t getting value for their coffee due to the middlemen involved”. That’s when the idea for Wild Kaapi originated, and the duo is now exploring new ways to get a premium price for products that support wildlife. “This includes social enterprises that can contribute to conservation action. (After all) traditional wildlife conservation relies heavily on donors,” says Sosale, who quit a career in automotive business to be a part of the venture. “At this stage we have two commitments: we have told coffee growers we will pay them the highest price, and, with the profit we generate, we will build a conservation fund to award grants to young conservationists,” he adds.

    WildKaapi03KF03jun2017

    Animal tales

    Millennials are more discerning towards coffee, observes Sosale. “Today’s consumer is informed. Ethical and conscious consumption is what we want to tap into.” To qualify for certification, the coffee not only had to have a good cupping (tasting) score, but the plantation had to support a vast biodiversity. Of the more than 187 farms they audited (recording the species of birds, butterflies, mammals, amphibians and trees), only four made the cut: Agora (with 124 species), Bindiga (137), Hulikere (119) and Cornerstone (120). Wild Kaapi has named their single-origin Arabicas after the plantations they are sourced from.

    WildKaapi04KF03jun2017

    Shreedev Hulikere, a third-generation coffee grower with 60 acres in Chikmagalur, who is partnering with Wild Kaapi, says he wasn’t aware of the numerous wildlife species on their estate till now. “While my ancestors traditionally hunted, I’m a conservationist. I tell my labourers not to destroy any bird nests. I know that barbets nest here and they eat the borer worms that destroy coffee. Similarly, I’m not going to chase away the monkeys and civets that eat my coffee because I’m being compensated elsewhere. Just because a porcupine destroys a pepper creeper, I’m not going to hunt it down,” he says.

    Love thy neighbour

    The audit also revealed a few surprises. “We found frogs listed as endangered or threatened in the IUCN Red List (the world’s most comprehensive inventory of global conservation status) at these plantations,” says Karanth. The certification not only places their coffee in a premium space, but also paves the way for a new movement. “If you have wildlife-friendly practices, you can promote sustainable agriculture. We are trying to establish a new model — a profitable enterprise that also enables better livelihoods. This hasn’t been tried before; it’s a new way of thinking,” says Karanth.

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    While their immediate goal is to prove that such a model is sustainable, Sosale is also mulling introducing coffee scrubs, soaps, candles and flavourings — all huge product lines in the international space. Moving into pepper and cardamom, which grow hand-in-hand with coffee, also holds much promise.

    Prices start at ₹390 for 250 gms.

    To know more, and buy the coffee, check out wildkaapi.com.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style> Homes and Gardens / by Bhumika K / June 02nd, 2017

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    Coffee Board chairman M S Boje Gowda, at a function in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Somashekar GRN

    Coffee Board chairman M S Boje Gowda, at a function in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Somashekar GRN

    Boje Gowda rues India’s low 200-g consumption compared to 7-8 kg in the West

    Bengaluru :

    Boosting domestic consumption is crucial to protecting the interests of coffee growers, according to MS Boje Gowda, the newly-appointed coffee Board Chairman.

    After 70 years, the Coffee Board has a grower as its chief in Boje Gowda, who is third generation planter. Till recently, bureaucrats headed the apex decision-making body for the coffee sector, under the Ministry of Commerce.

    Gowda, of Krishnagiri Estate in Chikmagalur, takes over at a time when growers are grappling with volatile prices, fluctuating output that’s largely being influenced by a changing climatic pattern on account of erratic rainfall, and pest issues such as the white stem borer.

    Addressing growers after assuming office, Gowda said the annual per capita coffee consumption in India is not even 200 grams, while in the western world it is 7-8 kg, thereby leaving tremendous scope to boost the domestic offtake. He said there was a need to boost consumption beyond the traditional consuming States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. “It would become a difficult situation for the growers unless the domestic consumption expands,” he said.

    Gowda, a large planter, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of doubling coffee output from the current 3 lakh tonnes to 6 lakh tonnes. India consumes merely a third of the coffee produced in the country as over two-thirds of the output is exported, mainly to Europe and Russia.

    Karnataka, the main growing region that accounts for about two-thirds of the country’s coffee output, has been reeling under a drought for the past three years. Gowda said he would focus on improving the water storage facilities and take up the growers’demand for higher subsidy for increasing the coverage of drip irrigation.

    Coffee growers gets only 25 per cent subsidy on the equipment cost for taking up drip irrigation, while for other plantation products such as rubber and cardamom, the subsidy component is around 80 per cent, Gowda said.

    Drones to forecast crop
    Addressing growers, Coffee Board Secretary Srivatsa Krishna said the body was exploring the option of using drones for better crop forecasting. Krishna said the current crop estimation was not right and the Board was looking at ways to improve the crop estimate. The Board has been in talks with 7-8 start-ups on deployment of drones for improving the accuracy of crop forecast.

    Krishna said the Board is also working on creating water harvesting solutions and is exploring options such as cloud seeding. On the issue of white stem borer, a pest that attacks plants of arabica coffee, Krishna said the board has reached out to biotech firms to evolve a solution and that pilots are being carried out in some plantations.

    Highlighting the importance of branding, Krishna said the growers should come out with region-specific brands such as Chikmagalur and Mysuru.

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> Agri Business / by The Hindu Business Line Bureau / Bengaluru – May 17th, 2017

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    We would like to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Company at their meeting held today, the 18th May 2017 and appointment of Dr. P.G. Chengappa as an Additional Director with effect from 18th May, 2017.

    We would like to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Company at their meeting held today, the 18th May 2017, have considered and approved the following: a.Appointment of Dr. P.G. Chengappa as an Additional Director (Non-executive, Independent) with effect from 18th May, 2017.

    A brief profile of Dr. Chengappa is enclosed herewith. Dr. Chengappa is not related to any of the Directors of the Company. b.Re-appointment of Mr. K. Venkataramanan as an Executive Director – Finance and CFO of the Company for a period of 3 years with effect from 25th October, 2017.

    This disclosure is made in terms of the requirements of Regulation 30 of SEBI (Listing Obligations & Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015.Source : BSE

    source: http://www.moneycontrol.com / Moneycontrol.com / Home> News> Business> Announcements / May 18th, 2017

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    M.S. Boje Gowda

    M.S. Boje Gowda

    Regulating the indiscriminate use of chicory — used as an additive with coffee powder — is high on the agenda of the new chairman of the Coffee Board of India, M.S. Boje Gowda, a third-generation coffee planter from Chikkamagaluru district, who took charge on Wednesday.

    “The farmer grows coffee in its pure form. But by the time it reaches the consumer, there is heavy addition of chicory deforming it. We don’t know how much chicory is added in the branded packaged coffee powder as well,” he said adding that he would discuss the issue with all stakeholders and even explore legal options to ban the addition of chicory to coffee powder.

    “If the consumers want chicory let them buy it as chicory and add it. There will be choice for consumers as well,” he said.

    When asked whether the Coffee Board of India had the teeth to enforce such a regulation, he said they would work with the Union government towards the end.

    Mr. Gowda is the first coffee grower to become the Chairman of the Board after a gap of 70 years. In the past, the post was held by bureaucrats.

    Coffee planters from across the State, who came to the city as he took charge on Wednesday, expressed immense hope of their problems being solved with a coffee planter as the chairman.

    Apart from monitoring the use of chicory, Mr. Gowda said that his aim is also to increase domestic consumption of coffee while doubling the yield in the country.

    “The per capita consumption of coffee is just around 200 grams and is mainly concentrated in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We should work towards branding coffee and spread consumption to other parts of the country,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set a target to double the annual coffee production in the country from 3 lakh tonnes to 6 lakh tonnes.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / Staff Reporter / Bengaluru – May 18th, 2017

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    May 16th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Coffee News

    Coffee Board seeks inputs from private players on new business model

    A file photo of India Coffee House in Bengaluru

    A file photo of India Coffee House in Bengaluru

    Bengaluru / Kochi :

    The iconic India Coffee House is set for a makeover.

    The state-run Coffee Board, which operates some 12 India Coffee House outlets in various locations including Parliament House, is exploring options to revamp and expand as part of its efforts to leverage the brand and promote coffee consumption across the country.

    The board intends to go in for a revenue-sharing model and on a minimum investment basis for the proposed expansion.

    It has initiated consultations with private players and has sought estimates on the capital expenditure and operational expenses for running a 1,000-1,500 sq feet store and smaller format kiosks of around 200-300 sq ft in 75-100 cities.

    Pre-bid discussions

    Confirming the development, Srivatsa Krishna, Secretary, Coffee Board, said the pre-bid discussions were still in the initial stages.

    “We have two more rounds of consultations to go,” Krishna said, stating that clarity on the concept would emerge sometime in July.

    Long before the advent of the café culture led by chains such as Coffee Day, Baristas, Costas and Starbucks, India Coffee House was synonymous with the growth of the coffee culture in the country. ICH has a significant brand recall, especially among the 40-plus generation. Red turbaned staff in white uniforms serving coffees and snacks at reasonably prices is a hallmark of ICH outlets.

    ICH used to be a favourite hangout or adda for political activists, writers, government employees, small-time lawyers, sales executives and the unemployed: in other words, a curious mix of the eclectic and the mundane.

    Its old-world and unpretentious ambience is welcoming of everyone, not least because of the affordable coffees. The impact of liberalisation, which brought about a change in the coffee marketing system in the mid-1990s, led to a downsizing of the Coffee Board workforce and the closure of a number of loss-making India Coffee Houses.

    “Some of the outlets were taken over by co-operatives formed by the retireed employees of the Coffee Board and continue to be run by them,” said N Bose Mandanna, former vice-chairman of Coffee Board.

    A welcome sign

    Industry stakeholders see the renewed effort to revamp the ICH by roping in private players as a positive development.

    “We welcome any efforts to promote coffee. The Board should look at the right vehicle to expand the ICH,” said Anil Bhandari, President, India Coffee Trust.

    Interestingly, the Board, which started India Coffee House in the early 1940s, had shut down several coffee houses in the mid-50s in various cities and dismissed many employees. Following this, Communist leader AK Gopalan took over the leadership of the retrenched employees and organised societies under the name of India Coffee Board Workers Cooperative Society. The first society was formed in Bangalore in 1957; it opened the first Indian Coffee House in Delhi on December 27, 1957.

    The Indian Coffee House, as distinct from the Board-run India Coffee House, is completely owned and managed by its employees.

    The society now has a chain with over 51 outlets and associate canteens operating in all major towns and in government establishments, particularly in Kerala.

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> News / by Vishwanath Kulkarni – V. Sajeev Kumar / Bengaluru-Kochi – May 10th, 2017

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    Arjun Belmar owns 34 acres in T Dasarahalli, off Tumkur Road

    Arjun Belmar owns 34 acres in T Dasarahalli, off Tumkur Road

    For close to 30 years, Arjun Belmar hasn’t spent a penny on buying coffee. He lives in the city and grows his own coffee. Yes, you read that right. He does. Belmar and his family offer proof that coffee is not only grown in Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu, but also right here in our city.

    The businessman has been growing coffee in the face of scorching summers or water scarcity. “Bengaluru is 900mt above sea level and the land can be utilised for coffee. But one needs to grow it properly in the shade,” he explains.

    When Bangalore Mirror visited his 3,000 sq ft coffee plantation, it felt like a forest in the middle of the concrete hub.

    “Years ago, T Dasarahalli was away from the city. Just about 100 people lived here and we had only one bus to our house from City Market. My father used to love plants and we grew everything on our land. Not just variety of trees and plants, we also had many cows which used to give us 200-300 lt of milk. We used to share it with whoever came to our home,” Belmar says.

    The grand old times are gone, but the family continues its green tradition. They keep bees and harvest honey too on their property.

    However, Belmar, remembers a time when they just had to dig up to half a foot to find water. “That is how we were able to grow ginger, grapes, vegetables, paddy, wheat, sugarcane, betel, pepper and other plants,” he said.

    On how they started growing coffee, Belmar’s explanation is simple – Everyone in the family loves coffee and wanted to taste the authentic thing. “We used to have our own cows and buffaloes for milk and grow sugarcane for jaggery and sugar. Why then, can we not have our own coffee plants, we thought. Then we went to
    Chikkamagaluru in search of the plants.”

    Though they were unsure if coffee plants can survive in Bengaluru, they kept going with their plan. “Today we have around 50 plants,” he says. “We had other bigger trees on the land. Coffee grows in semi-shade so we put them between these big trees. We watered the plants continuously and saw the first flowers on the plants,” he says.

    He recalls that his father had tears in his eyes when he saw the coffee plant flowering at last.

    “Each coffee plant gives around 2-3kg of coffee fruit. In a year, we get close to 50 kg. We pluck the fruit and clean it and keep it for drying. Once it has dried properly, we give it for processing and get it done in a customised manner. We tell them whether we want it with or without chicory,” he said.

    His friends and family, who visit the farm, are in awe of the plantation. “My friends used to ask me if I were living in Madikeri or Bengaluru. They love the coffee we give them in packets. People who visit us from abroad wait to visit again to refill their stock,” he said.

    Belmar also grows the cocoa plant. He has close to 150 cocoa plants, the seeds of which he sends to Mangaluru for processing.

    “We drink premium coffee personally handled by us. It is better than the coffee grown in Chikkamagaluru,” he says, with a hint of pride.

    It’s all about the honey

    Belmar says they started keeping bees as his grandfather was one of the founders of the Bee-keepers Association in the city. “We have been harvesting honey on our land for the past 40-50 years. Keeping bees easy here because of the rich bio-diversity.”

    Bee-keeping in the city dates to the times the British were here. Belmar says, “It was during the British rule that the Bee-keepers Association began. These days, people are trained to keep bees and harvest honey.”

    He has one special information about the honey. “When the Neem tree is flowering, the honey tastes best and it is clear. In the mango season, the honey is quite reddish and very sweet. When the tamarind tree is flowering, honey is a little sour. For each season, we have a different flavour of honey.”

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Others / by Kumaran P, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / May 10th, 2017

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