Busan to launch consortium to nurture the southern port city's coffee industry

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : April 10, 2023, 14:18 Updated : August 16, 2023, 15:50

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- A consortium consisting of various coffee-related associations and research institutes will be launched in South Korea's southern port city of Busan to nurture the city's thriving coffee industry. The group will develop various policies to support the city's coffee industry with the biggest number of coffee shops compared to the city's population of about 3.3 million. 

According to the Korea Customs Service, South Korea imported about $1.3 billion worth of coffee beans in 2022, up 42.4 percent from a year ago. The country's imports of coffee beans skyrocketed to $920 million in 2021 from $660 million in 2019. In 2022, Brazil was the largest exporter, followed by Vietnam, and Columbia. 
In 2020, Busan with a population of some 3.3 million had a total of 5,669 out of some 83,000 coffee shops in South Korea with a population of 51.8 million. The southern port city has many streets with unique coffee shops favored by tourists. Jeonpo Café Street with different colorful coffee shops in central Busan was selected as one of the must-visit locations by the New York Times and CNN.
A forum with 100 members will kick off on April 10 to establish a cooperative system for the development of Busan's coffee business sector and to come up with related policies. A director of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), a global coffee community of baristas and coffee experts, will also participate in the event to interact with other experts. 
The SCA is a nonprofit organization that issues global barista certificates. The organization signed an agreement with Busan in November 2022 to build big data of green, unroasted coffee beans that baristas can access to choose the most ideal type of coffee for their shops. The southern port city aims to digitalize various types of green coffee beans so that baristas can figure out efficient ways to roast them. 
About 2.7 million foreign tourists annually visited the port city in 2019 before the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. South Korea has joined the race to host World Expo 2030 in Busan. The global economic event, which is held every five years for six months, can play a crucial role in promoting the country's artificial intelligence, big data, and information communication technologies to the global market.   
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