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CQI and African Fine Coffees Association Plan Long-Term Collaboration


The United States-based Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) and the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) have signed an agreement designed to support green coffee producers and promote market access.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two organizations outlines a plan to incorporate CQI training and certifications to support producers in building knowledge, skills and capacity, among other activities.

The AFCA is a membership-based trade organization that includes representation from coffee-growing and coffee-consuming countries throughout Africa, including Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

AFCA coffee

CQI, which is based in California, maintains globally focused certifications for both people and coffees — including the popular Q Grader certification program — while also engaging in producer-focused NGO work.

“CQI has a long history of working in Africa and working with AFCA, through this MOU, is indicative of our continued commitment to support producers in the region,” Bridget Carrington, CQI’s interim CEO, said in an announcement from the group yesterday. “We have great respect for AFCA and believe it is well placed to support the services CQI would like to make available to its member countries and entities.”

According to CQI, the MOU outlines plans to: certify more educators and instructors in AFCA member countries; develop AFCA’s coffee lab in Kampala, Uganda; support green coffee buyer trips; and other collaborative activities.

“CQI and AFCA will work together soon on sensory training and Q Grader re-certification, to occur in Kampala,” the group stated.

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