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Panama takes top bid at Singapore Specialty Coffee Online Auction

One hundred bidders from 17 countries and regions joined the Singapore Specialty Coffee Auction held virtually for the first time on 1 October 2020.

MD Estate Coffee Inc’s Geisha beans from Boquete, Panama, sold at the highest bid price of US$64.50 per kilogram to Seed & Virtue in Singapore.

Organised by the Singapore Coffee Association (SCA) in partnership with Food&HotelAsia (FHA), the virtual auction saw bidders from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirate, and the United States vying for 49 lots of specialty coffee.

“This first time ever virtual micro lot specialty coffee auction has once again placed Singapore on the world coffee map as a premier coffee trading hub,” says Victor Mah, President, Singapore Coffee Association.

“We are pleased with the healthy participation rates for both the auction and webinar, and how the event has brought the global coffee community even closer. It has been a great partnership with FHA and we are looking forward to the next collaboration.”

The auction was closely watched on socials, garnering up to 5200 views.

“The partnership with SCA has been fruitful and we are pleased to see the community gathering to support the coffee producers. It is in these challenging times that we see how innovation and technology can help to sustain and spur the industry,” Martyn Cox, Event Director of FHA-HoReCa and FHA-Food & Beverage says.

Santa Elena Estate’s Geisha beans received the second highest bid of US$56 from CoHee in Hong Kong. Yellow Catucaí from Guariroba Farm, Brazil, was sold at US$25 to a bidder from Japan.

“We are delighted with the results of the auction. This certainly proves that there is a market for the Panamanian Geisha beans in Asia,” says His Excellency Luis Alberto Melo, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama.

“The virtual auction has also enabled us to reach out to buyers all over the world and market our coffee to even more consumers.”

Intense discussion on climate change and coffee production
The webinar, titled Effects of Climate Change on Coffee Production in ASEAN, held on the same day prior to the auction, saw 133 attendees from 22 countries and regions and more than 2400 social views. Discussion centred on the impact of climate change on coffee farming in the region and how farmers can mitigate the damage caused to the industry in Southeast Asia.

Industry professionals from Starbucks, a coffee industry expert based in Vietnam, and BSR deep dived into the issue and shared their views on how farmers and businesses can help reduce climate impact. From understanding business risks to analysing the different factors such as energy use and mono crop culture that affect coffee farming communities around the world, the experts agreed that the impact of climate change can be resolved through openness and collaboration among all the stakeholders.

“The webinar ran smoothly and I enjoyed the session tremendously. It was a wonderful forum for sharing the industry’s insights into climate change from the perspective of coffee growers,” says Pacita Juan, Vice President of ASEAN Coffee Federation and webinar moderator.

“The topic has brought this issue to the forefront, especially among the young. Kudos go to the organisers for bringing this discussion to the table.”

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