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With Unrest in Nicaragua, ACE Shipping Cup of Excellence Coffees Ahead of Auction

Cup of Excellence Nicaragua

The international jury at the 2018 Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition in April. Photo by Ariel Flores, courtesy of Alliance for Coffee Excellence.

As Nicaragua grapples with violence and political unrest that began with protests surrounding the administration of President Daniel Ortega, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence is breaking precedent by arranging for the shipment of Cup of Excellence award-winning coffees ahead of the scheduled auction date.

Nicaraguan coffees from several different growing regions excelled at the Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition, with 35 different lots scoring 86.69 or above. Those coffees had been awaiting a June 19 auction, which typically attracts buyers from all over the world, with heavy representation from Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. However, given the unrest in the country and reports that some transportation routes may have been affected, ACE and event partners ACEN, RGC Coffee and Peralta Coffees have decided to immediately export the coffees to the Annex Warehouse in California.

“The week after the 2018 Nicaraguan Cup of Excellence in Matagalpa, April 18th, a number of protesting students were killed by Nicaraguan authorities in Managua. Since then, the situation in Nicaragua has escalated,” ACE said in an announcement signed by executive director Darrin Daniel today. “Over 120 people have been killed and the country is experiencing a national catastrophe. Food shortages, road blockades and overall political strife have surfaced throughout the entire country. There have been multiple human rights violations and the country has nearly come to a total standstill, according to multiple reports close to the situation.”

According to ACE, vacuum-sealed winning lots are currently at the port city of Corinto awaiting a vessel departing tomorrow, June 8, that is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Oakland on June 29. Additionally, the group has set a new date for the auction: Wednesday, June 13.

“We ask that all interested parties to please consider your support of these farmers during such turmoil,” ACE wrote. “Since the outbreak of violence, a lot of work has been done to make certain that these micro-lots were securely shipped out on time.”