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El Salvador Cup of Excellence auction raises the bar

After five hours and 1840 bids, the 17th El Salvador Cup of Excellence auction set an all-time-high average price per pound record of US$23.53 for the country.

This new high beat the previous record of US$13.65 per pound, set in 2017.

The auction opened with a lowered base price of US$5.50 per pound given pandemic-related financial hardships experienced worldwide. However, for the first time ever, all lots were still sold above US$12 per pound, with a total auction revenue of US$475,607.15.

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) says these results are trend-setting indicators that help guide coffee farmers to make decisions about their present and future projects for production, processing, and commerce.

The winning lot, Finca Divina Providencia from producer Roberto Ulloa, whose natural anaerobic process Pacamara scored 90.31, was divided in two. The 1A lot received US$80.10 per pound, which was the second highest price paid for El Salvador coffee in the competition’s history. This portion of the lot was purchased by a group of six buyers: Maruyama Coffee and Uchida Coffee from Japan, Harrods and Difference Coffee form the United Kingdom, and Cometeer and Goodboybob Coffee from the United States. Lot 1B was purchased by Al Qahwa Al Arabiah from the United Arab Emirates for US$60.10 per pound.

The third top price per pound came in at US$48.60 for an 89.16-scoring natural process Geisha from Finca La Pacaya. This lot was purchased by Latorre & Dutch Coffee Traders, based in Australia and China.

This year’s auction was dedicated to Gilberto Baraona, an emblematic Cup of Excellence winning producer and faithful believer of specialty coffees in El Salvador. An auction viewing Zoom room with producers was livestreamed on Facebook where a moment of silence was given to Baraona before the start of the auction. During this livestream, farmers were able to discuss everything from sustainability protocols to generational farming.

The Executive Director of the El Salvador Coffee Council, Lily Pacas, says, “I appreciate the support of ACE and the Council team for the development of this event, and we also admire our producers; thanks to them and despite the circumstances, we managed to successfully launch this contest and demonstrate that in our country we produce quality coffee. Thank you to the International buyers. When they buy coffee from El Salvador, they not only buy our coffee, they buy the love, dedication and passion of many years of work by our producers.”

The Cup of Excellence program promotes winning coffees internationally helping for forge direct trade while promoting a country’s quality coffee growing capabilities.

For more information, visit www.allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org/el-salvador-2020

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