A new regional green coffee competition and auction designed to attract international buyers is being planned in conjunction with the VI Festival del Café in Santa Barbara, Honduras, taking place April 27-28, 2018.
The “Oro de Santa Barbara” competition and auction is part of a new publicly funded marketing campaign that aims in part to facilitate international market access for small and medium-sized producers producing top-quality coffee throughout the country.
“Santa Barbara is one of the most well-known coffee areas in Honduras, while many smallholder farms remain without access to the international market for their good quality coffees,” event organizer Honduras Coffee Innovation (HCI) said in an announcement of the new competition. “HCI believes bringing international cuppers and buyers to the area will build relationships, create more buying opportunities for the cuppers and more selling opportunities for the farmers. This in turn will increase income for coffee families in Santa Barbara.”
HCI cited the existing Cup of Excellence and Project Origin green coffee competitions and auction programs as helping to raise the profile of high-quality Honduran specialty coffee over the years. The group, co-founded by longtime coffee professional and international judge E.Z. Yon of LaB Coffee & Roasters in Los Angeles, said its goal through the new competition is to “augment these successes by initiating and implementing successful regional competitions which focus on small to medium sized farms, beginning with Oro de Santa Barbara.”
For the competition, international judges led by head judge Sherri Johns will cup the top scoring coffees in a blind cupping in Santa Barbara just prior to the festival. The top 10 scoring coffees from small to medium sized farms will be cupped in a public setting at the festival then offered for sale through an on-site auction.
“Producers and cuppers will mingle where all remaining coffees are for sale with the [assistance] of translators and exporters,” the organizers said of the event structure. “HCI places buyers and farmers together to negotiate the sale and takes no commission. Farm tours of the local area will be provided.”