Dutch green coffee importer Trabocca is launching its first auction program for individual lots of Ethiopian specialty coffees.
Called Operation Cherry Red, the farmer-focused auction program is made possible by the recent country-wide loosening of restrictions formerly requiring all coffees to be sold through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX).
Trabocca said it has already paid a base price of $5 (USD) per pound for each of the auction’s preliminary coffees, sourced from individual smallholders in Ethiopia’s high-altitude coffeelands, and an additional $2.50 will cover the auction’s organization and logistics. All proceeds beyond the $7.50 base price will be given directly during upcoming sourcing trips to the farmers who grew each coffee, according to an announcement from Trabocca today.
Next week, a jury of 11 coffee professionals — including head judge Anette Moldvaer of Square Mile Coffee Roasters (England), Rubens Gardelli of Gardelli Specialty Coffees (Italy) and Kentaro Maruyama of Maruyama Coffee (Japan) — will be cupping at Trabocca’s Amsterdam headquarters to select the finalists for the auction. The auction itself will take place Thursday, May 31, and potential buyers can sign up for more information here.