The Coffee Board of India is an organisation managed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the government of India to promote coffee production in India.
The saga of Indian coffee began on a humble note, with planting of ‘Seven seeds’ of ‘Mocha’ during 1600 AD by the legendary holy saint Baba Budan, in the courtyard of his hermitage on ‘Baba Budan Giris’ in Karnataka. For quite a considerable period, the plants remained as a garden curiosity and spread slowly as back yard plantings. It was during 18th century that the commercial plantations of coffee were started, thanks to the success of British entrepreneurs in conquering the hostile forest terrain in south India. Since then, Indian coffee industry has made rapid strides and earned a distinct identity in the coffee map of the world. century that the commercial plantations of coffee were started, thanks to the success of British entrepreneurs in conquering the hostile forest terrain in south India.Since then, Indian coffee industry has made rapid strides and earned a distinct identity in the coffee map of the world.
During 1940’s, the coffee industry in India was in a desperate state due to the II World war resulting in very low prices and ravages of pests and diseases. At this time, the Government of India established the ‘Coffee Board’ through a constitutional act “Coffee Act VII of 1942” under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Board comprises 33 members including the Chairman, who is the Chief Executive and appointed by the Government of India. The remaining 32 members represent the various interests such as coffee growing industry, coffee trade interests, curing establishments, interests of labour and consumers, representatives of governments of the principal coffee growing states, and Members of Parliament.
After pooling was discontinued in 1996, Coffee Board serves as the friend, philosopher and guide to the Coffee sector covering the entire value chain. The core activities are primarily directed towards research & development, transfer of technology, quality improvement, extending development support to growing sector, promotion of coffee in export and domestic markets. The activities of the Board are broadly aimed at (i) enhancement of production, productivity & quality; (ii) export promotion for achieving higher value returns for Indian Coffee and (iii) supporting development of Domestic market.
The Board has a Market Intelligence Unit functioning from its head office at Bangalore. The unit undertakes various activities related to market information & intelligence, market research studies, crop forecasting and coffee economics aspects. The unit also undertakes studies on research related to the coffee trade including WTO issues. Notable publications include the daily market intelligence report and a comprehensive database on coffee (Quarterly). The periodical reports that are already completed include Coffee Consumption in India 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009 and Attitude towards coffee drinking 2007. The unit coordinated studies on (i) logistics and competitiveness of coffee producing countries (India, Vietnam & Brazil) (ii) MAI Scheme on promotion of Indian coffee exports to Russia and CIS countries (iii) Transaction Costs of Indian Coffee Exports and a manual on coffee retailing. The unit also coordinates the implementation of Price Stabilization Fund Scheme of Govt. of India and Rainfall Insurance Scheme for Coffee growers. The Unit maintains the Board’s official website.
After liberalization in 1996, the marketing functions were deregulated. The exports are carried out by the Exporters. Hence the Coffee Board plays the role of facilitator and promoter of Indian coffee exports. However, registration of exporters is the responsibility of the Coffee Board. The total number of registered coffee exporters are about 395. Further, the Board issues, under the Section 20 of the Coffee Act, 1942, Permits for Export of Indian Coffee. Additionally, the Certificates of Origin are also issued as per the provisions of the International Coffee Agreement.
Under Export Promotion scheme, exports of Value added coffees in retail packs and export of coffee to high value far-off destinations are incentivized to offset the transaction costs to some extent and enable the Indian exporters to be competitive in the export market. These incentives provide opportunities to expand the footprint of Indian Coffee in higher value destinations like USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc on one hand and reinforcing presence in our traditional markets i.e., European Union/ Russia and CIS etc.