Panama Canal Expansion Impact on Asian Coffee, Tea Trade
”Panama Canal Opening to Asian Coffee and Tea” was the theme of the Fifth Annual Houston Port Region Coffee Symposium on Monday, Oct. 19. Interested or would-be business owners not only learned about opportunities for importing coffee and tea through the Port of Houston, but were able to network with the leaders and businesses that connect the coffee and tea trade from east to west.
Since its 2005 inception, PHA Commissioner Jimmy Burke has served as chair of the symposium, sponsored this year by PHA, the Greater Houston Coffee Association, the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region and the International Trade Expo.
PHA Commissioner Jimmy Burke (third from left), Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and Economic Alliance Houston Port Region officials join Alliance President/CEO Jan Lawler’s family on stage to congratulate Lawler on her retirement at the annual Business Excellence Awards Dinner.
Among speakers, Rodolfo Sabonge, Panama Canal Authority, discussed the potential impact of the canal’s 2014 expansion and said one of the best things Houston is doing to attract the increased cargo is the development of distribution centers. In his keynote luncheon address, “HEB Retailing in the 21st Century,” HEB’s Scott McLelland discussed how HEB tailors individual stores to the customers and neighborhoods they serve, noting how coffee sales differ dramatically by store.
That evening, the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region hosted its annual Business Excellence Awards Dinner.