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Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines

El Salvador Joins Cup of Excellence

El Salvador - The coffee industry of El Salvador is planning to hold its first annual Cup of Excellence competition and auction. The international competition to select the very finest specialty coffees for the year is scheduled to take place in San Salvador beginning May 6, 2003. Only those coffees that were pre-selected by the national jury in April will be considered by the international cuppers. Coffee lots receiving a specialty score of 80 and higher using the designated cupping faorm will be honored with the prestigious Cup of Excellence award and will be sold to the highest bidders during an international Internet auction scheduled for June 24.

Ricardo Espetia, executive director of The Consejo Salvadoreńo del Café is already seeing positive effects from the planning process. “There is a renewed focus on quality differentiation and its importance. Many farmers have carefully picked only the perfectly ripe cherries and their beneficios are processing these special small lots separately and with great care. This program could be a very important turning point for our coffee industry in gaining recognition as a premium producer.”

El Salvador is the fourth country to join the Cup of Excellence program which is owned and managed by The Alliance for Coffee Excellence, Inc.

Technoserve Helps Tanzanian Farmers

Tanzania - The coffee marketing season has just ended in Tanzania where TechnoServe assisted 2,864 small-scale coffee producers to improve their quality, their business and financial expertise and their links to the market place. In total, TechnoServe worked with 44 coffee farmer associations, 22 in the Kilimanjaro region and 22 in the Southern Highlands. The 22 in the Kilimanjaro region are part of the Association of Kilimanjaro Speciality Coffee Growers, an industry group TechnoServe helped to form in 2001. The Southern Highlands farmer groups formed their own chapter of the Association of Kilimanjaro Speciality Coffee Growers, which served as a conduit to move coffee from the farmer-owned business groups to the Moshi Coffee Auction, where they could sell for the best prices.

The Association of Kilimanjaro Speciality Coffee Growers marketed a total of 747 metric tons of coffee, 269 of which was speciality coffee. The producers in the Southern Highlands received an average price of $0.40 per kilo of parchment coffee and expect an additional $0.20 per kilo as a second payment. This is in comparison to $0.29 per kilo received by other farmers. Groups in Kilimanjaro received $0.86 per kilo compared to $0.65 - $0.70 per kilo paid for competing coffee.

Quality improvement was achieved for many groups thanks to TechnoServe training, complemented by brief training seminars in Moshi and Mbinga by Jerry Baldwin, chairman emeritus of Peets, and by a senior team from illycaffe, the renowned Italian espresso roasters. Quality improvement tools included installation of four community-level coffee pulpery units, which raised coffee quality from Fair and Average Quality to Fair and Average Plus Quality, and thus earning premiums of up to 45% over coffee processed the traditional way. For more information on TechnoServe coffee program, please contact Laura Johnson at (203) 899-3151.

Colombian Coffee Federation Wins Internet Domain Dispute

Colombia - An Administrative Panel of the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued an Order recently, directing transfer of ownership of the domain name www.juanvaldez.org to the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia. The Federation is the owner of the federally registered Juan Valdez trademark, which is also registered in several other countries. The Federation instituted the proceeding against an individual who had registered the domain name. The Federation asserted that the name was confusingly similar to the Juan Valdez trademark, that the individual had registered the domain name in bad faith, and that the individual had no legitimate rights in either the domain name or their business name. The Panel agreed with the Federation on all counts, directing that the domain name be immediately transferred from the individual to the Federation.

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia was founded in 1927 as a not-for-profit organization entirely owned by Colombia’s 560,000 coffee farmers, or cafeteros, with local branches and elected representatives in Colombia’s producing regions. The Federation’s mission is to improve the standard of living of Colombian coffee growers by applying fair, equitable and sustainable policies in the coffee growing regions of Colombia. For more information about the Federation’s social investment, advertising, and grower support activities please visit www.juanvaldez.com (History of Colombian Coffee), and www.askjuan.com (hot topics).

Tea & Coffee - May/June, 2003
Theta Ridge Coffee


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