CHINCHINA, Colombia, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- A leading brand of freeze-dried, or instant Colombian coffee is seeking to perk up sales in the Chinese market by attending the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE).
At the second CIIE, which will be held in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai on Nov. 5-10, the Buencafe company, maker of the brand, will be among the top Colombian exporters.
As a member of the National Federation of Coffee Growers, Buencafe boasts the world's second-largest production plant for instant coffee in Chinchina, a town in central Caldas department.
Cristina Madrinan, Buencafe's marketing manager, offered Xinhua a tour of the modern plant, where coffee beans are processed and freeze dried to preserve their robust flavors and aromas.
"Buencafe has been in the market for more than 45 years, and has been exclusively export-oriented since its inception," said Madrinan.
The company's instant coffee has "a very important competitive advantage because it is in a country that is clearly the world's best coffee producer, so the raw material we use is very good quality," said Madrinan.
In addition to quality, the company is also able to guarantee quantity.
"We are the largest plant in the world under one roof. That makes us very efficient and gives us the ability to reach many markets and serve a large number of customers," she said.
"Currently, due to recently completed expansion, we have an installed capacity of 13,000 tons of freeze-dried coffee a year," she added.
Buencafe's plant lies within the Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape, a region declared a World Heritage Site in 2011 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Situated in the foothills of the Andes mountain range in western Colombia, the region is "an exceptional example of a sustainable and productive cultural landscape that is unique," according to UNESCO.
Buencafe exports to more than 60 countries on five continents. In China, it has been selling its goods through supermarket chains since 2005.
"We have experts who are constantly monitoring global trends and what consumers want today. We have offices in different parts of the world -- in New York, in Shanghai, in Amsterdam -- which give us the global coverage to understand and capture all market opportunities and be able to carry them out," she said.
While China has traditionally been a tea-drinking culture, coffee consumption is on the rise, she noted, adding "our eyes are set especially on this market."
Buencafe sees the CIIE as an opportunity to expand sales through new contacts with importers and distributors, said Santiago Duque Marin, the company's marketing and sales coordinator for the Asian market.
The success of last year's CIIE led the company to sign up for this year's edition, he added.
"The idea is to be able to hit about 3 million U.S. dollars in instant coffee sales in about three or four years" in China's market, said Duque.
Meeting that goal would represent "significant growth" for the company, but we see that the market has all the conditions to achieve it," he added.