A press conference was held by the organising committee of the International Exhibition of Coffee and Chocolate to discuss plans for the third edition, to take place at the International Exhibition Centre in Riyadh on 20 – 23 December.
Mohammed Al Ghraibi a member of the organising committee said this year’s conference will feature 9,580m2 of exhibition space, with more exhibitors than ever before.
Organising committee adviser, Mohammed Alafees, pointed out the educational opportunities available during the exhibition. This year’s event is supported by the Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA), which will provide a series of training courses sharing the latest information, expertise and technologies, including lessons on coffee preparation, classification, and roasting.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Tanzanian Ambassador highlighted the growth of Saudi Arabia as an export market for Tanzania’s coffee products and said the International Exhibition of Coffee and Chocolate is the most important economic event in the coffee and chocolate sector in the Middle East, and a crucial platform for highlighting Tanzania’s agricultural products and exports.
Omar Nasser, representative of national companies, shared Ministry of Commerce statistics, which state that Saudi Arabia’s coffee and chocolate sales totaled 700 million riyals ($186.65 million) in 2016, marking a 12% increase on last year.
Nasser added that chocolate is an important sector for investment, given the current shortage of chocolate production: there are 30 factories in the Kingdom producing 28 thousand tonnes, while the market requires 45 thousand tonnes.
He added that the exhibition provides an excellent platform for the exchange of ideas with international companies, and for building relationships with consumers.