EU Ambassador engages with Lao coffee companies that made waves at World of Coffee, Athens 2023

The global stage is taking notice of the Lao coffee industry, as five leading Lao coffee companies make their mark at the World of Coffee (WOC) exhibition in Athens, Greece.

Comma Coffee, Mueang Xieng Coffee, Nambeng Coffee Group, Phouphieng Paksong, and Vanmai Coffee have been chosen based on their participation in the highly regarded Lao Annual Green Coffee Competition held in March 2023.

With support from the European Union-funded ARISE Plus project, UK Trade Partnerships, and Winrock’s CLEAN project, these companies will help to promote the Lao coffee industry and establish a presence in the European Union market.

For the second consecutive year, the ARISE Plus project, funded by the European Union, is providing crucial assistance to Lao coffee producers and cooperatives, enabling them to attend globally recognized fairs such as the WOC.

Ina Marciulionyte, EU ambassador to the Lao PDR met with both current and past participants of the WOC to discuss their experiences, exchange feedback, and explore future plans.

The WOC exhibition offers an exceptional platform for Lao coffee companies to showcase their specialty coffee and highlight the distinct flavours and qualities of Lao-grown beans.

With a focus on promoting high-quality coffee, these companies aspire to raise awareness of Laos’ geographical advantage as a premium coffee-producing region.

By participating in international events like the WOC, their aim is to forge pathways for Lao coffee to enter the European market.

Participation in the WOC Athens 2023 has proven invaluable to these Lao coffee companies, inspiring potential changes and enhancements to their businesses. Through interactions with global coffee buyers and traders, they have gained deeper insights into the export potential for Lao coffee. This knowledge will guide their endeavors in seeking buyers for the upcoming 2023-2024 harvest.

The WOC Athens has also created opportunities for potential collaborations and purchases. Lao coffee companies actively seek avenues for future cooperation with international partners. Engagements at the exhibition have sparked discussions on partnerships, distribution agreements, and other forms of collaboration that mutually benefit the Lao coffee industry and their European counterparts.

“Coffee is an industry of opportunity for Laos. It can empower women and youth, increase tourism, and provide opportunities for Lao entrepreneurs. We are delighted to join hands with ITC and local partners to remove obstacles and unleash the untapped potential of this promising sector,’’ said EU Ambassador.

“Attending the World of Coffee event in Athens was an incredible experience. The event provided me with a unique opportunity to connect with buyers from around the world and expand my network. I also gained valuable insights into the export potential for Lao coffee, which has given me the confidence to look for buyers for our upcoming 2023-2024 harvest,” said Todd Sanders, Managing Director of Meuang Xieng Cofee.

Along with Mr. Sanders, other representatives of listed companies expressed that they hope to export next year. This sentiment captures the aspirations of Lao coffee companies as they set their sights on a future of expanded opportunities and increased global recognition for their exceptional coffee products.

The ARISE Plus project, in collaboration with the European Union and other international organizations, takes pride in supporting the Lao specialty coffee industry. Through initiatives like the World of Coffee exhibition, these projects aim to enhance services and provide support to small businesses and women entrepreneurs. By removing obstacles that hinder business operations and fostering trade and investment, they are nurturing the growth of specific industries, including wood processing and agriculture.

Source: Lao News Agency