Trade exhibitions play a vital role in promoting businesses and industries as they provide a valuable platform for networking, displaying products and services, and establishing connections with potential customers and partners. Their importance stems from the various opportunities they offer for conducting market research, increasing brand visibility, and fostering the development of new business associations.
Fairtrade NAPP participated at the Speciality Coffee Association Expo in Portal, the United States of America to showcase and promote the diverse range of coffee from the APAC region while creating a conducive environment for collaboration among producers, importers and roasters. The Fairtrade team included Representatives from FT Canada, FT Amerika, FLOCERT, CLAC and Africa and FTA NAPP and Coffee Producer Organisations.
The 3-day expo offered better resources and facilities to accommodate the needs of producers for conducting business meetings with current and potential traders at the Fairtrade booth. It has proven invaluable in several ways, facilitating shared resources, effective communication, and strengthening relationships for Fairtrade Coffee. Hence, it provided an avenue for improved communication and collaboration among NFOs, FI, PNs, and FLOCERT.
- Improved Resource Sharing and Facilities:
This expo provided an opportunity for NFOs, FIs, PNs, and FLOCERT to collaborate and share resources. Notably, it offered an improved facility for Fairtrade producers to hold business meetings with current and potential traders at the Fairtrade booth that fostered meaningful connections and expands trade opportunities in the coffee sector. By pooling their knowledge, expertise, and facilities, these organizations enhanced the collective impact of Fairtrade coffee production.
- Expert Representation and Communication:
Fairtrade was represented by experienced professionals from NFOs, FIs, PNs, and FLOCERT who possess in-depth knowledge of Fairtrade and the coffee supply chain. Their strong understanding of the industry and confidence in communication skills have enabled them to effectively convey key messages about impact, sourcing, quality, and critical issues such as increasing Fairtrade coffee prices. The Fairtrade booth became a hub of activity, with crowded gatherings, business meetings, and seminars that were attended by more than 100 participants.
- Strengthening Relationships and Market Expansion:
The expo allowed producers to reconnect with importers and roasters, foster existing relationships and explore new business opportunities. Importers and roasters who were eager to receive updates on their current suppliers and potential new origins such as the dynamics of their Fairtrade suppliers, including pricing, harvest conditions, and quality received have gotten a chance to get relevant insights for it. Producers and importers sought insights into Roasters who were interested in the impact of Fairtrade and the availability of high-quality coffee from new origins. During private cupping sessions, the Fairtrade booth provided high-quality samples that generated interest from buyers, especially for Myanmar coffee that attracted 2 new potential buyers.
- Partnership Development and Support:
Fairtrade organizations such as Fairtrade Canada invited their traders and licensees to engage with PNs and producers at this trade fair. This interaction fostered a better understanding of concerns and interests, enabling effective collaboration. Additionally, this offered an opportunity to highlight the support provided by NFOs, such as climate training, youth and women empowerment projects, and the development of new origins. This exchange of information and support strengthens partnerships, encourages sustainable practices, and drives positive change within the industry.
Trade fairs serve as powerful platforms for promoting Fairtrade globally, and the active participation of producers is key to its success. It is crucial to recognize the importance of such trade fairs and participate in order to forge valuable business relationships with every actor in the network. These trade fairs create more platforms for growth and collaboration that allow Fairtrade to make a significant impact in a constantly changing market.