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Interview with Luc Prouvost

“Coming from the world of marketing and advertising, I entered the world of coffee in 2005 as a distributor. During the same period, I innovated by building the very first site for the sale of coffee online: I also strengthened my knowledge of coffee by becoming a breeder and then a roaster. Aware of the real need of visitors to to see, touch, and smell the products put online, I created a shop which, with its website, was proved useful since the demand of producers and brands of coffees is going on increasing.

From my fifteen years of experience in the coffee industry, I have witnessed the evolution of the transformations which took place within the French coffee consumption market. Thus the relative long presence of Nespresso on this market has been good for the latter in so far as it has made the consumers discover the possibility of properly extracting coffee at home by themselves and to have a presentation of the product under another format than the 250g vacuum pack.

Even though France is still Nespresso's number one market, one cannot deny the rise, over the past five years, of the automatic coffeemachine, which is increasingly becoming an alternative to the espresso system. This change, although debatable, allowed the rebirth of several roasters that were no longer able to keep pace with the evolution of the market with Nespresso. In comparison with developments in Germany and England where this new market is fairly standardized, the legal framework still has some way to go in France, but not for very long.

It should be noted that the advent of the espresso taste did not follow the same path in Anglo-Saxon countries less familiar with this taste than in France where espresso predates specialty coffees. It is important to question the manufacturers of coffee machines to have the exact measure of the maturity of this emerging market, particularly in the "home" segment, a little more than in the "CHR" segment.

For the good of the market, players must manage to integrate a requirement that goes far beyond the factor of the coffee price. In this, Nespresso helped, in its own way, to make consumers understand that they have to pay more for their coffee. This dynamic has proven itself, since specialty coffees, which 15 years ago represented only 1%, now are representing 5% of world production.

The concept of "Coffees Roasted at Origin" elicits my appreciation and admiration for the enormous work done by producers in the countries of origin. By dedicating an entire department to them on the site my primary motivation is driven by my conviction of the merits that there is to recognize the roasting at the origin as the most suitable way to give back margin and value to producers. Secondly, the confidence and trust that I have in AVPA which controls and promotes this system of redistribution convinced me of the correctness of this approach. If it hadn't been for the presence of AVPA, I would not have embarked on this project, which is crazy, to say the least, of integrating the "Coffees Roasted at Origin" into our distribution channel. I am delighted to be able to share the benefits of what I have been building for fifteen years with others. "

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