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ACE Pledges to Move Forward with 2020 Cup of Excellence Auctions


A judge filling out an evaluation form at a 2019 Brazil Cup of Excellence event. Daily Coffee News photo by Howard Bryman.

The organizer of Cup of Excellence green quality competitions all over the coffee-growing world, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence is exploring ways to move forward with 2020 auctions.

Travel bans and cancellations, restrictions on public gatherings and other public health factors stemming from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have thrown wrenches aplenty into ACE’s 2020 plans — as well as those of its various host country partners — although the group says it is exploring contingency plans.

Over the past 20 years, Cup of Excellence auctions following the group’s rigorous evaluation standards have resulted in untold millions dollars in premiums above local market prices for individual farmers and producer groups. However, COE events typically require public gatherings for judging, as well as awards ceremonies and related educational events.

“We are currently working on contingency plans to ensure that we will properly vet all entries, support all of our in-country partners and assure our membership that we will present coffees for all of the 2020 auctions,” ACE Executive Director Darrin Daniel wrote in an announcement shared late last week. “It is imperative that we back our producers during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. In addition to our programming of coffee competitions, we conduct trainings and educational courses around the world. These classes will be rescheduled until we have a clearer picture on travel bans and other considerations of public gatherings.”

ACE had planned to hold CoE coffee competitions and auctions in at least 10 countries in Africa and Latin America in 2020, beginning with the first ever CoE in Ethiopia. For now, the group has created a COVID-19 page for updates.