August 1, 2013

Proud of What We Started

The Golden Bean

Looking back at seven years of the Golden Bean Roasters Awards I am filled with pride for what the Café Culture team has achieved.

Recently when our major sponsor Nativa said to me that we should sack our media agency for not banging the drum enough about creating a competition for an industry which is the largest of its type in the world, they were joking and luckily as we are our own PR Company so no-one lost their job.

Yes there are many other coffee competitions out there but no one has created the social network and the camaraderie that exists within this 4 day event, it cannot be achieved by just entering beans into a competition.  We have bought together this coffee industry that was totally out of control and have given it some real direction and value to its elite players.

When I first started my business eleven years ago I could not believe the coffee industry did not have any real governing body or large association calling the shots.  I knew if I applied an educational approach to my business model it would eventually pioneer and change the direction of an industry. And yes this eventually did happened.  We now have many new media and marketing businesses appearing and a strong association guiding certain aspects of the coffee sector such as barista education and competitions. Café Culture saw the opportunity and the need to reward the coffee professionals that helped make our industry one of the smartest in the world, so the Golden Bean concept was formed.

I have not been one to bang my own drum but it does not stop me from being very proud of the people that have given me the energy and support to help grow the Golden Bean into what it is today.  We welcome constructive feedback every year that helps to tighten up any chinks in our armor and ensures the integrity of our great event.

The penny recently dropped in my head as to how big the Golden Bean Awards are when I was watching a morning breakfast show and the mug of coffee on the host’s desk was sporting the Golden Bean logo. It was then that I started thinking about how businesses must have grown since they won such awards and how they could put their well-deserved logos on their own packaging.

It’s not just the big coffee businesses that have utilised marketing around their Golden Bean wins it’s some of the tiny regional coffee companies that have really jumped on board and proudly painted the front of their shops with the unmistakable Golden Bean logo.

The Golden Bean logo is very recognizable, giving real value and brand equity to all our winners who have been proud to wear it. Many other industries have utilsed awards to push the quality barriers of their producers. The coffee business being such a competitive arena has the same parallels as the wine and beer industry that are strong in awarding excellence. Lately we have enjoyed working closely with marketers in both of these areas of craft beverage to improve our systems and marketing ideas for our future events.

Our goal now for this year’s Golden Bean competition is to get everyone involved and we encourage coffee professionals to come to the event and participate in the judging process and network with their fellow business associated and peers. Attend the event and truly take advantage of what the Golden Bean Coffee Roaster Competition and Conference has to offer. You will leave with a sense of camaraderie, inspiration and enthusiasm for your business and the industry as a whole. The coffee industry is not owned by anyone of us, it is for all involved to enjoy and prosper and work towards a future of excellence.

Thank you to everyone that has been involved so far and we look forward to welcoming new industry folk this year.

Sean Edwards – Managing Director

Café Culture International

Source: Cafe Culture Magazine, 1 August 2013

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