The registration deadline approaches to join industry colleagues and the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) board of directors at the first-ever coffee origin tour in Costa Rica, Feb. 6 to 10, 2013.
"We really look forward to the fascinating, value-added education NAMA operators will experience from this unique, behind-the-scenes look at our industry. The inaugural coffee origin tour is custom designed to deliver an immersion into the history and growth of the marquee crop of our industry," said Dean Gilland, vice president, sales and service, of NAMA, in a prepared statement. "There is just a week to finalize plans since NAMA is able to guarantee availability only through November 1," he added.
Mark Dieffenbach, chairman of the board of directors for NAMA and director of special channels for the Hershey Co., said, "I am excited about sharing this experience with my peers and invite others to join us for this unique event. We encourage our members to take time out of their day-to-day business activities to learn about the true nature of coffee, from crop to cup."
For the first of two coffee farm tours, Jim Stewart and Luz Marina Trujillo Stewart, founders of Seattle's Best Coffee, will lead a comprehensive exploration through their Santa Elena coffee farm in the Tarrrazu Cloud Forest. The second coffee tour will take the group to the leading Scientific Coffee Farm and Laboratory in Costa Rica, including a hands-on cupping and aroma training
In addition, a half-day, interactive education session presented by Miles Small, Kerri Goodman-Small and Café de Costa Rica titled "The Journey of Coffee," will be featured during the 5-day event.
"We will explore thought-provoking, interesting questions including, 'What does coffee have to do with green beans and cherries? 'Can you really taste blueberries in some coffees?' and 'Just how similar are coffee and wine?' In our session, we'll provide a great place to enhance your coffee education. We'll also unveil the secrets of 'specialty' flavors and aromas to serve as a foundation to boost your coffee sales," said Kerri Goodman-Small.
In addition to these educational opportunities, there will be a designated day for exploration or exciting adventure activities. The event will end with a closing reception for information-sharing and continued networking.
The package price ($1999 for first person; $1299 for second person sharing a room) includes all in-country costs, including lodging, transportation, education, coffee farm tours and most meals. Please note: flight arrangements and incidentals, including a booking fee and adventure activities, are not included.
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort, an ocean-front property, will serve as the host hotel; room upgrades are available for an additional cost;
As noted, there is limited space available and NAMA cannot guarantee availability after Nov. 1, 2012. The tour is open to all NAMA members and their guests. For itinerary details and registration information, visit http://www.vending.org/index.php/coffee-service.