The ACTA celebrates a devoted team and active social schedule at its AGM

Australian Coffee Traders Association

The Australian Coffee Traders Association Annual General Meeting celebrates a devoted team, an active social schedule, and a commitment to informing members with information that matters.

Once a year, the Australian Coffee Traders Association (ACTA) gathers for its Annual General Meeting, Forum and Luncheon to reflect on achievements for the year past, elect a new Committee, highlight leaving and joining members, and hear from guest speakers that will help guide decisions for the year ahead.

On 23 November, members from around the country gathered at the Park Hyatt Sydney – The Guest House, on a rainy day overlooking the Sydney Opera House, but inside, a large group of participants were happy to catchup and enjoy an afternoon together.

We began the event by honouring two long-standing Members who had decided to step down from the Committee: Nick Chronis, formerly of Seven Miles and now Schibello Coffee Roasters, and Paul Mannassis of Mocha Coffee. We thanked both for their great contributions. We also welcomed new committee member Dominic Musumeci of Seven Miles, and look forward to his ongoing participation and support.

We recognised all the notable activities throughout the year, including our Adelaide and Brisbane meetings, Sydney ‘golf day’ and Mid-Year Networking and Presentations event, Melbourne meeting with the key theme of ‘Women in Coffee’, alongside exhibiting for the first time at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE). On reflection, we have been able to connect this year with more members than ever before, and our stand at MICE gave us a platform to be heard by an entirely new audience we hope to welcome into the Association.

After formalities and during a delicious three-course lunch, we heard from three guest speakers from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF): Bo Wang, Andrew Allsop, and Todd Murdoch.

The gentlemen spoke about coffee imports and biosecurity measures, and provided a snapshot of current import conditions. They noted the necessary phytosanitary certificate, clean and new packaging, and inspections needed for the successful import of green coffee beans; as well as import conditions for decaffeinated green beans and vacuum sealed green coffee trade samples, where officially no phytosanitary certificates are required.

We heard about the threat of the Khapra beetle and the staged action that has been implemented since September 2020 to help protect the threat of all plant products.

As such, prior to export, goods must be inspected and certified with phytosanitary certificates with the additional declaration that green coffee samples have also been inspected and found free from any evidence of the Trogoderma granarium species, whether live, dead, or exuviae.

The DAFF team explained how its analysis of green coffee bean entries for the month of October 2023 eligible for DAFF’s Highly Compliant Importer scheme had shown an average clearance turnaround time of 3.5 days.

Inspection failure of any biosecurity risk material (BRM) in green coffee beans were identified as insects, plant debris such as coffee fruit pulp, contaminant seeds and other fungi, soil, or animal material. In June 2023, it was noted how the Khapra beetle had been detected from a consignment of green beans from Brazil. Interestingly, 12 per cent of BRM found in green coffee beans have been found to be actionable, where the required steps would include the re-export of any load with Khapra beetle, local treatment for other insects, and cleaning or processing of plant debris and contaminated seeds.

Of the top 10 countries with actionable BRM identified, Vietnam was the highest at 228, with 29.8 per cent actionable BRM, followed by Brazil at 172 BRM identified and 11.1 per cent of actionable BRM.

“If a biosecurity risk material is found from coffee beans from Vietnam, you have around a 30 per cent chance that it will be actionable,” Bo said.

It was also interesting to hear the top 10 countries with green coffee entries, with Brazil and Colombia ranked the highest.

“The biosecurity failure rate is only 1.3 per cent which is pretty low and we’re pretty happy with that,” Bo said. “The pathways levels of compliance is pretty satisfying. However, we are a bit concerned about Vietnam and Honduras. If you look at look at their biosecurity failure rate, it’s about three times higher than the pass rate average. Those two countries are also a bit higher in inspection failure rate compared to other countries (at 10.4 and 9.2 per cent respectfully).”

It was an insightful afternoon and we look forward to more opportunities that add value to our community, beginning with ACTA’s Adelaide event to be held 25 or 26 March in tandem with next year’s Royal Adelaide Coffee Show in South Australia.

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This article appears in the February 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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