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Ramacafé 2009 in Managua | Sep 9, 2009

Cinthia Membreño

Conferences, coffee tastings and a field trip to a coffee plantation in the department of Matagalpa were some of the activities of the IX edition of the International Coffee Encounter Ramacafé 2009, which took place at Crown Plaza Hotel Convention Center, situated in Managua. On September 1, 2 and 3, more than 600 participants, including expositors and members of the international and local coffee guild, had the opportunity to make new contacts, learn about the context of the coffee market worldwide and discover knew tools to improve the quality of the production of this grain.

Henry Hüeck, president of the organizing committee of Ramacafé, explained that this year´s slogan was "Hacia nuevos mercados" (in English would be "Into new markets"). These markets are constituted by countries like Korea, China, Japan, Italy and Northern Europe, and represent the new target of the Nicaraguan producers. Hüeck stated that the objective of the event is to give the producers tools to become more competitive. "This is the only event made by a producer (in this case Hüeck) to other producers", he said.

Participation of women

A new activity that was held during the event was the official launch of the Women´s Coffee Alliance-chapter Nicaragua. This alliance is part of an international organization that has the same name and aims to acknowledge the participation of women on every aspect of the coffee industry.

According to Gabriela Figueroa, spokeswoman of the organization in Nicaragua, the alliance is currently formed by 70 women who represent different coffee companies of the country. Figueroa said that the organization participated in different ways during the encounter. An example of it was the welcome speech that Fatima Espinoza, president of the alliance, gave during the first day of the event. "We also put an informative stand so that the participants could know more about us and we organized a dinner in which the Nicaraguan singer, Norma Helena Gadea, gave a concert", she stated.

Tenth anniversary of Ramacafé

On 2010 this international encounter will celebrate its tenth anniversary. The president of the organizing committee explained that Ramacafé began nine years ago as a technical meeting. However, as time passed, and the longest crisis of low prices for coffee started, it was necessary to talk about efficiency related to the production process of the grain, as well as making producers interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

Hüeck commented that the slogan of next year will be "Sí podemos" (We can), with the objective of celebrating 10 years of advances and obstacles that were overcome. "We have overcome the crisis of low prices, high production costs, change of governments, hurricanes and the global credit crisis", he ensured.

Ramacafé has become an international event that has the assistance of a great number of local and international organizations of high importance to the coffee industry. Some of them are the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the Global Bank, which are focused on the sustainable development of the coffee guild members.