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  • QA 094
    Question:
    How to find foreign buyers for (good quality) coffee?
    Background:
    We trade substantial amounts of what we consider good quality coffee here in Guinea. We would like to find foreign buyers for some of this. How can we do this?
    Asked by:
    Trader - Guinea
     
    Answer:

    First of all, importers and roasters receive many approaches, some serious but many not. Many aspiring exporters approach potential buyers on a hit or miss basis, hoping that one or two of their missives may bring a result. But most of these approaches do not. In other words, before one starts contacting people, some investigative work is to be done.

    For example, which countries currently import coffee from Guinea? After all, it will be easier to gain the attention of buyers who already know Guinea coffee than that of those who do not. In this respect please note that the International Trade Centre - ITC, operators of this website, provide a wide overview of the trade in many different products, including coffee, in individual countries, through 72 Product Maps at www.p-maps.org. These statistics are updated once a year.

    The website provides information on what goes where and it is a useful tool for viewing trends, for example where import of Guinea coffee may be growing. The website also offers market surveys, links to other information sources and information on selected companies. The service offers a trial period free of charge and we recommend you make use of it to gain some import data on Guinea coffee (and other origins) in different markets.

    An approach is likely to be taken more seriously if the potential buyer sees that efforts have been made to obtain advance information about his market. In this regard we also strongly recommend studying Q&A 032 in the archive. It offers some really good hints at how to go about approaching potential buyers.

    Nevertheless, in the interest of maintaining absolute impartiality this website does not offer marketing services or names/addresses of coffee buyers or sellers, only general advice and comment. However, you should find information about coffee associations in consuming countries and, indirectly, their membership at the following addresses:

    Note also that "F.O. Licht's World Coffee & Tea Yearbook" (revised annually) provides an extensive contact list of around 5,000 coffee and tea companies in some 100 coffee and tea producing and importing countries, including statistics and analysis on individual country exports and imports. Information on how to procure the book at www.agra-net.com.

    A free but less extensive source of addresses is at www.teaandcoffee.net (go to: ukers/information).

    A directory of exporters and importers is also available at www.coffeeandcocoa.net.

    Posted 11 May 2006

    Related chapter(s):
    Related Q & A:
    QA 007, QA 032, QA 057, QA 080