The third edition of the Puerto Rico Coffee Expo is bumping up its offering this year, integrating chocolate products and suppliers, organizers said Thursday.
Aside from attracting coffee lovers, the event scheduled for Sept. 22-23 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center also seeks to provide a venue for chocolate and other related products, and a meeting place for farmers, distributors, retailers and culinary experts. The event will feature over 100 exhibition spaces, workshops, lectures and demonstrations by professionals in both industries, said Pedro Fernández, producer and partner of Cube Group Events, which will put together the caffeine-laden affair.
“The event’s evolution responds to the fact that there is a Puerto Rican coffee industry with great potential, as well as with cocoa. Cacao trees grow in the same geographical stretch that coffee does and in most cases it serves to shade coffee bushes,” Fernández said.
“On the other hand, generally speaking, those who like coffee also like chocolate so its development potential is enormous,” he said. “It is time that we become aware that in Puerto Rico we can develop a good cocoa industry, especially when worldwide production is declining and demand continues to rise.”
Over the past two years, the event has drawn more than 40,000 participants and generated $235,000 in direct sales for exhibiting farmers and retailers.