by Mira Gerantonaki

The 1st International Coffee Conference and Exhibition in Greece was held October 18 — 21. CoffeeNet, the only magazine for the Greek coffee market, and HELEXPO, the leading exhibition planner in Greece, organized the event, with support from the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe). More than 60 companies, representing all facets of the coffee industry, exhibited at the expo. The General Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Mardas, congratulated the organizers and the participants and mentioned the great importance of such an event in his opening remarks.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the 1st Hellenic Barista Competition and the 1st International Coffee Conference took place. Eighteen baristas participated in the competition, with six going to the finals. The winner, Vassilis Ballas, will represent Greece at the World Barista Championship to be held in Oslo this June. The judges were two representatives of the Greek coffee industry: Mr. Kramer (founder of the World Barista Championship) and Mr. Odello (President of the Italian Institute of Coffee Tasters). The conference featured an international roster of speakers, including several presentations by members of the Greek coffee community. More than 150 people participated in the conference.

More than 6,000 entrepreneurs visited the exhibition. Most were owners of coffee shops and coffee bars, hotels and restaurants, but many coffee roasters and importers also attended.

Organizers and participants, as well as the representatives of the international coffee community who visited or supported COFFEEBIZ 2001, concluded that the Greek coffee market is an industry with great potential and such an event plays a crucial role in its development. COFFEEBIZ 2002 will take place in November 2002. YOU should definitely be there.

Mira Gerantonaki can be contacted at nextmdia@otenet.gr.


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