Data provided by the International Coffee Organisation from August 2011 to August 2012 has shown that the average monthly price for a pound of coffee has declined by 30% in the international markets.

Coffees companies have continued reap the benefits of falling coffee prices. The low prices have allowed some companies to provide better products to consumers while still maintaining, and in some cases increasing, their profit margins.  According to the Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Index, Coffee prices have fallen 37 % since hitting a 10-year high on May 3, 2011.

The International Coffee & Tea Festival, the only dedicated trade event for the coffee and tea industry in the Arab world, will introduce “The Café Exchange” this year.  Opening its doors to consumers with the show’s inaugural B2C component, the event will showcase the finest coffee and tea delicacies and food from the UAE’s best cafés.  The event will also serve as an opportunity to win over customer loyalty in the growing competitive market.

The Café Exchange also seeks to further spice up the International Coffee & Tea Festival with performances by leading local talent featuring a wide selection of Jazz, Blues, Acoustic and Contemporary music through three consecutive nights of café-inspired entertainment for the entire family.

The event is set to feature new brands and franchises hailing from different countries including Kenya, Yemen, Italy and Australia showcasing their products to a growing number of consumers who are beginning to demand for better quality.

The UAE Barista Championship and the inaugural Latte Art Championship will also be held concurrently with the International Coffee & Tea Festival.  The championships showcase the skill and creativity of the UAE’s best baristas in the preparation of popular coffee beverages, giving the public a foretaste of what they can expect from the UAE’s best cafés.

Ryan Godinho, National Coordinator for UAE, World Coffee Events, said, “The Café Exchange introduces a more consumer-oriented segment to the International Coffee & Tea Festival that will cultivate lively interaction among café patrons and café professionals. Much like the UAE Barista Championship and Latte Art Championships, the Café Exchange gives consumers an exclusive overview of the creativity and skills of the UAE’s café professionals within a unique café-inspired atmosphere. Moreover, trade exhibitors will gain added market exposure from the B2C interaction, which we believe will serve as a new and exciting way to complement the growth of the UAE’s coffee and tea industry.”

The Event will also host SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America) certified training programmes, featuring a series of workshops covering topics such as Espresso Bar Efficiency & Workflow; Customer Service; Latte Art; and Cupping.  SCAA will be conducting the region’s only internationally recognised Coffee Certification programmes.

The International Coffee & Tea Festival will be held at the Meydan Grandstand & Convention Centre in Dubai from 30th October to 2nd November 2012, with focus zones and activities for everyone interested in coffee and tea for business or pleasure.

Adelle Geronimo is the Editorial Assistant for Trade and Export Middle East magazine. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication at the University of the City of Manila, Philippines (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila) in 2012.