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Import & Export icon Coffee Export Business Plan

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Silvera and Sons

Market Analysis Summary

Coffee is the second largest commodity market next to oil and Brazil has remained the largest producer of coffee in the world for two centuries. Imports of Arabica coffee in the United States have increased ninety-four percent in the past five years and consumption of coffee within Brazil has seen similar increases. In addition, demand for green coffee is above the market clearing level, and market price and crop yield estimates are at an all time high.

The increase in the number of independent specialty roasters in the United States and Brazil has contributed to and is an indicator of the increased demand for coffee. Within the larger coffee market is our target market is the specialty roaster. These discerning customers want the highest quality coffee beans. They serve the growing “gourmet” coffee market and are represented by large American companies like Starbucks and thousands of smaller specialty roasters. The Arabica bean is considered to be the best in the world and as such, the demand for Arabica beans is high on the specialty roaster market. Specialty roasters are willing to pay more for Arabica beans and attempt to distinguish themselves via the characteristics of the bean they use i.e. the location in which it was grown, farming methods, bean size, etc. The final consumer is relatively price insensitive if the coffee is good, has won awards, or is compatible with a popular trend. We estimate that specialty roasting in the U.S. alone is a ($USD) one-billion market.

4.1 Market Segmentation

The potential customer groups for Silvera & Sons are:

  • American importers of green Arabica beans: Market research suggests that there are approximately 200 importers of green Arabica coffee on the West and East Coasts of the United States that would be able to handle the quantities of our shipments and are in our target market . Combined, they import a total of four to five million/60kg bags of Brazilian coffee per year.
  • Brazilian green coffee wholesalers: This market serves as a safety valve for our export business. By maintaining relationships with Brazilian wholesalers we have an alternative market with established distribution channels.
  • Brazilian specialty roasters: As we move towards maximum capacity we will plan to more aggressively target this audience. We hope to eventually reduce transactions with wholesalers and capture their value-added costs as profit. We anticipate that this effort will begin approximately four years into operation of the new facility.
Coffee export business plan, market analysis summary chart image

Market Analysis
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
U.S. Importers (60kg bags) 26% 70,140 88,376 111,354 140,306 176,786 26.00%
Brazilian Wholesalers (60kg bags) 26% 30,060 37,876 47,724 60,132 75,766 26.00%
Total 26.00% 100,200 126,252 159,078 200,438 252,552 26.00%

4.2 Industry Analysis

Coffee has been a growing industry for the past five years. The most notable growth has been in the American market where imports have increased almost one-hundred percent and the market price has nearly doubled. The number of specialty roasters has increased from a handful of well known companies to thousands of independent entities. There is a constant struggle within this market to produce the best coffee and serve one or more niches within the larger market. Brazilian coffee producers and exporters have made great efforts to improve agricultural techniques, processing methods, and distribution in order to better serve this growing market. Demand for Brazilian coffee is currently greater than supply.

4.2.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

The purchase decision for our customer is based on trust in our process and bean selection. We have established relationships with our customers which extend beyond that of the buyer/seller. The Silvera & Sons label means that the product has been chosen and prepared with the highest quality standards in mind. Our beans are priced up to nine percent higher than similar products. Our customers are willing to pay more for our product because they are familiar with us and trust in the quality of our beans. This is the result of their success in the marketplace with our product.

4.2.2 Main Competitors

There are approximately 150 exporters of green Arabica beans in Brazil. According to the Brazilian Coffee Exporters Association, ABECAFE, fifty percent (50%) of all green coffee exports come from their 45 members. Approximately eighty percent (80%) of these exports come from 20 ABECAFE members. Market contributions of individual exporters are held in strict confidence and are not available to the public. However, based on this information and given the large number of remaining exporters not affiliated with ABECAFE who account for the remaining sixty percent (60%) of all exports, we assume that many of the largest competitors are amongst the ABECAFE members. They are:

Agro Food Cooxupe Mitsui Alimentos
Allcoffee Cotia Trading Nicchio Cafe
Bramazonia Custudio Forzza Nova America
Cafe do Ponto Esteve N.S. da Guia
Cafeeira Carolina Eurobrasil Ottoni & Filhos
Cargill Agricola Fazenda da Serra  Porto de Santos
Casas Sendas Guaxupe Ref. Oleos Brasil
Cocam Inter-Continental R & G 
Comexim JR Exportadora Rio Doce
Comercial Ben. MC Coffee Tres Coracoes
Compel Melitta Volcafe

4.2.3 Industry Participants

Silvera & Sons deals exclusively in the exportation and sale of green Arabica beans. There are approximately 150 Brazilian businesses in this market. However, approximately 30 companies account for approximately eighty percent of the total amount of green Arabica exports. In addition many of these companies prepare, export and sell, to the Brazilian market, other coffee products. Additional products include:

  • Green Robusta (Conillon) beans: The Robusta bean is produced in far less quantity, in Brazil, than the Arabica and is considered an inferior species. The Robusta market represents less than ten percent of all coffee produced in Brazil.
  • Soluble coffee products: These are instant (water soluble) coffees and are either decaffeinated or not. Sales of soluble coffee products account for approximately twelve percent of the total market.
  • Roasted & Ground coffee: Approximately eighty-five percent of all roasted and ground coffee (decaffeinated and non-decaffeinated) goes to internal consumption and represents approximately twenty-seven percent of the total coffee market.
  • Primary competitors include: Golden Brazil, Bramazonia, Comexim, and Nicchio Cafe.

4.2.4 Distribution Patterns

All of the coffee produced for exportation by Silvera & Sons and approximately eighty-five percent of all coffee produced for exportation in Brazil is shipped from Porto de Santos. Prepared coffee is shipped via rail and/or truck from the Silvera & Sons plant in Ouro Fino to Porto de Santos. From the port it is then shipped, in 40 foot containers to the port of Miami via cargo ship. Distribution charges are assumed by Silvera & Sons up to the arrival of the shipments in Miami whereupon importers assume responsibility, as detailed in contract, of the shipment and additional distribution charges.