Greater Houston Coffee Association Annual Luncheon

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By Judith Schultz, GHPB

Ambassador Juan B. Sosa was the featured speaker at the October 12, 2016 luncheon presented by the Greater Houston Coffee Association in conjunction with the Greater Houston Port Bureau at Brady’s Landing. Ambassador Sosa serves as Consul General of Panama in Houston, with responsibility over Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arkansas.
Ambassador Sosa, a long-time leader in Panama’s international business development community, kicked off his presentation with an overview of the rich history of Panama as a center for global shipping routes, dating back 500 years. Sosa connected Houston’s last 150 years of transportation history to Panama’s as he showed how developments in each place have established them as premium destinations in world shipping routes today.“Two-thirds of all containers in the Gulf come to Houston,” said Sosa. “Thirty-eight percent of these ships transit the Panama Canal to go to Houston.”
img_0406Focusing on the future, Sosa believes it’s time to “think big” and focus on reaching out to more Latin American trade centers to make Houston their port destination. “This is my challenge, too,” he added.
Coffee is the largest food import commodity in the U.S., and the Port of Houston is the only certified coffee exchange port west of the Mississippi. This designation offers those in the coffee supply chain valuable tax benefits in Houston’s port region. These favorable factors offer room for continued growth in coffee imports to Houston. “Five thousand tons of coffee come through the Port of Houston; 1700 tons come through the Canal.” Sosa commented. “The Panama Canal wants more than 1700 tons of coffee!”
Summing up his thoughts, Sosa declared the future for an even stronger trade route between Houston and Panama is meant to be. “It’s not fate; it’s destiny,” he concluded.
Ed. Note: Coming in 2017: Breakfast Seminar Series! The Greater Houston Coffee Association is launching a quarterly educational breakfast seminar series in early 2017. Topics will focus on issues specific to the local coffee industry, such as compliance with updates to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA). Call (713) 678-4300 or email coffee@txgulf.org to get notified of upcoming seminars and events.

  • Date November 17, 2016
  • Tags November 2016