Bangalore, Oct 6

The India International Coffee Festival (ICCF 2009) that kicks off here Wednesday will focus on the domestic opportunities for international players and global trends in the plantation commodity.

"The international coffee community has recognised the huge potential of the Indian market. The fest will focus on unlocking this potential by showcasing the opportunities in the domestic market," state-run Coffee Board chairman G.V. Krishna Rau told IANS.

As India's premier bi-annual coffee fest, the three-day event will deliberate on topical themes, including sustainable production, entrepreneurship, brewing and packing technologies.

Major coffee-producing and consuming countries such as Brazil, Britain, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the US are participating in the conferences and exhibition at the fest.

About 500 delegates comprising growers, roasters, brewers, exporters and equipment manufacturers from 15 countries, including India, are attending the event, which will be inaugurated by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.

Dignitaries at the event include Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, International Coffee Organisation (ICO) executive director Nestor Osorio, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe managing director Neil Rosser, P&A international marketing director Carlos Brando, Tata Coffee chairman R.K. Krishna Kumar and Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading chairman V.G. Siddhartha.

"Apart from creating business opportunities, the festival will serve as a catalyst in the fast-growing Indian retail chain and consumer market, letting participants explore innovations, network and conduct business," Rau said on the eve of the fest.

Though India exports about 70 percent of its coffee production, fast-food culture, disposable incomes, demographic dividend and change in consumption patterns have spawned about 1,000 retail chains and outlets such as Caf

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