CCP: TE 99/7



Thirteenth Session

Ottawa, Canada, 27-29 September 1999


Table of Contents


1. At its Sixty-Second Session in January 1999, the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) in considering the functions of the Intergovernmental Groups (IGGs), made various suggestions to enhance their work through direct and closer collaboration with member countries, which could include meetings away from headquarters on a selective basis and strengthening the participation of the private sector. The Committee endorsed the convening of joint meetings of related IGGs to deal with thematic issues of common concern. It also requested that efforts be made to organize on a trial basis one or more ad hoc conferences dealing with related commodities of importance in world agricultural production and trade, bearing in mind that such conferences would be in lieu of the regular IGG sessions scheduled for a biennium. In the light of the request of the CCP, the following proposal to hold an international conference on tropical beverages (coffee, cocoa and tea) is submitted for the consideration of the Group, as these commodities would meet the requirements set by the Committee.


2. It is proposed that an international conference on beverages be held back-to-back with the Fourteenth Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Tea. The three-day event could be organized as follows:

Day 1 - 14th Session of the IGG on Tea
Days 2 and 3 - International Conference on Beverages

3. Preliminary discussions have been held with several private sector concerns and international commodity bodies such as the International Coffee Organization, the International Cocoa Organization, and the International Vine and Wine Office (Office International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV)), and generally there was enthusiasm expressed for such an event. Therefore, the Group is invited to consider the proposal to hold an international conference on beverages and make decisions on the nature and scope of such an event giving attention to the points below:


  1. Firstly, should there be a conference held back to back with the next Session of the IGG on Tea?
  2. Assuming that there is agreement on holding a conference, the Group needs to decide on the suitable timing for the event. Suggested dates have been either at the end of 2000 (December) or beginning 2001 (January/February).
  3. Given the CCP request that these conferences deal with related commodities of importance in world agricultural production and trade, the Group is requested to indicate the commodities to be covered in the conference.
  4. The venue for the conference should also be decided by the Group. Suggestions have included Rome (FAO Headquarters) and London (International Coffee Organization).
  5. The role of the private sector needs to be clearly defined by the Group. A fee may have to be charged on the private sector if cost projections indicate the need for additional funding. Alternatively, sponsorship could be sought.
  6. The Group is invited to suggest topics that should be addressed at the conference. A major topic could be the consumption relationship between beverages (their complimentarity, substitutability, etc). Others suggested in preliminary discussions include:
  7. Suggested speakers to address the Conference
  8. Should there be a Steering Committee to assist the Secretariat in organizing the event?
  9. Any other issues that the Group may want to raise in regard to the holding of an international conference on beverages?