Cup of Excellence (ACE) organizer the Alliance for Coffee Excellence is partnering with the multinational agricultural traceability company Oritain to verify the origin of coffees in the green coffee competition and auction program.
According to Portland, Oregon-based ACE, Oritain will be maintaining a database using samples of coffees that have been purchased at auction. The database will create a kind of fingerprint for future traceability as it relates to where specifically coffees are grown, as opposed to the kind of DNA fingerprinting that would verify things such as variety or cultivar.
In a response to a DCN inquiry, ACE said that while there has been no evidence of counterfeiting in regard to coffees submitted to COE competitions, the partnership with Oritain is designed to give producers and coffee buyers alike confirmation that competition coffees are authentic throughout their supply chain journey.
“This is to help build an appellation system of identification to be able to determine exactly where coffee comes from,” the group told DCN. “Our goal is to give producers and supply chain actors the tools to test for authenticity.”
Coffees used to build the Oritain database and subsequent origin fingerprinting will be those that are purchased through the annual COE auctions.
With five offices in the United States, Europe and Oceania, Oritain is involved in verifying the geographic authenticity of a broad range of products — such as wools, cottons, denim, serums and fruits — for a variety of clients in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
“This partnership is at the cutting edge of verification of origin,” ACE Executive Director Darrin Daniel said in an announcement last week. “And we are delighted to begin this partnership as a service for our many stakeholders in the specialty coffee supply chain.”