Delivering Java and Jobs to Stimulate the Houston Region's Economy

First-ever symposium to spotlight business/economic development opportunities in Houston's growing coffee and cocoa trade

Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES

HOUSTON, Oct. 4, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Port of Houston Authority, the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region, the Greater Houston Coffee Association, and the City of Pasadena have announced the first Coffee and Cocoa Symposium will be held Thursday, October 20 at the Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway in Pasadena, Texas. The theme "Java and Jobs: Creating Economic Stimulus in the Region" reflects the Houston region's rising stature in the global coffee and cocoa trade and the powerful overall role of these commodities in the area's economic development. The day-long event will feature networking and insights on business development opportunities within Houston's coffee and cocoa supply chain -- from shipping, warehouse storage and distribution, to roasting, packaging and retail marketing.

A centerpiece of the symposium will be the gala featuring a keynote address by Robert Nelson, president and CEO of the National Coffee Association. Additionally, more than 1,000 people are expected to attend the symposium's roundtable discussions, business-to-business forums, and exhibit booths. Notable industry leaders from the U.S. and Brazil who will provide informative overviews of the multi-faceted business development opportunities in the global coffee and cocoa industry include:

     -- Carlos de Aldecoa Bueno of Houston-based Cadeco
     -- Don Christen of Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Corporation
     -- Scott Singleton of Kadena Strategies, Inc.
     -- Jose Ribeiro Neto of O. G. Ribeiro Ltda., Brazil
        (member of Cooxupe Cooperative - Cooperative Regional
         de Cafecultures em Guaxupe, Ltda, Minas Gerais, Brazil)

"Clearly, Houston is brewing with global coffee trade opportunities that poise the entire region for tremendous economic growth," stated PHA Commissioner Jimmy Burke who also serves as chairman of the Economic Alliance Port Region. "It's up to the private sector to develop and implement strategies to take their enterprises to exciting new heights as dynamic key players in global trade and commerce."

"As mayor, one of my key roles is strengthening Pasadena's local economy. After learning of the opportunities for economic growth the coffee trade represents, I decided that our community would be a leader in fostering development in this area," stated city of Pasadena Mayor John Manlove. "The coffee trade represents an exciting opportunity for Pasadena to capitalize on its proximity to the Port of Houston in a way that benefits our city and the surrounding area."

Admission to most symposium activities is free and open to the public. Tickets for the gala are $75 per person. Proceeds from the symposium will help support the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region's commitment to promote Houston as a premier coffee port in the nation and as a dynamic, world class business community. For more information about the symposium's exhibit space and sponsorship opportunities, please visit

The Port of Houston Authority

The Port of Houston Authority owns and operates the public facilities located along the Port of Houston, the 25-mile long complex of diversified public and private facilities designed for handling general cargo, containers, grain and other dry bulk materials, project and heavy lift cargo, and other types of cargo. Each year, more than 6,600 vessels call at the port, which ranks first in the U.S. in foreign waterborne tonnage, second in overall total tonnage, and sixth largest in the world. The PHA plays a vital role in ensuring navigational safety along the Houston Ship Channel, which has been instrumental in Houston's development as a center of international trade. The Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Central Maintenance Facility are the first of any U.S. port facilities to develop and implement an innovative Environmental Management System that meets the rigorous standards of ISO 14001. Additionally, the port is an approved delivery point for Coffee "C" futures contracts traded on the New York Board of Trade's Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange. For more information, please visit

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