The nonprofit Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) and Yemeni coffee organization Qima Coffee are reprising their high-end coffee auction with potentially more coffees and additional positive outcomes for coffee farmers throughout Yemen.
For the Best of Yemen 2021 auction, tentatively scheduled to take place online in August, the groups are working to scale the program beyond the approximately 3,000 smallholder coffee farmers in Qima’s existing network to include high-end market access for small-scale farmers throughout Yemen.
The previous two Best of Yemen auctions presented by Qima and the Portland, Oregon-based ACE fetched astounding prices for premium Yemeni microlots, including US$207.15 per pound for the top lot in 2020, where average prices for all 20 lots scoring 87+ was $54.43 per pound.
“Qima Coffee exists as a vehicle to serve Yemen’s coffee farmers, without exception,” Faris Sheibani, who founded Qima Coffee in 2016, stated in an announcement from ACE. “Yet practically speaking, we can only purchase so much coffee from a certain number of farmers, and whilst that number has grown exponentially over the last few years, there are still tens of thousands of Yemeni farmers who remain unserved. The Best of Yemen 2021 auction serves the much-needed purpose of providing market access to Yemen’s entire coffee farmer community.”
The groups said they are extending the competition to any Yemeni farmer wishing to submit coffees, while also extending the platform to include Yemeni exporters, in an effort to buoy small- and medium-sized Yemeni coffee businesses. In addition to their auction partnership, ACE and Qima Coffee are two founding partners of the Amal Yemen consortium and event, created to celebrate Yemeni culture and coffees.
Qima Coffee plans to donate 10% of the Best of Yemen auction proceeds to the Qima Foundation’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Programme, which offers educational scholarships to children of Yemeni single mothers affected by conflict.
ACE has commissioned Yemeni coffee companies Mocha Valley and Hasaad for various pre-selection and logistics services in the run-up to the auction, while auction coffees will eventually pass through an international jury of professional coffee tasters.
The Best of Yemen 2021 is part of ACE’s ongoing Private Collection Auction (PCA) series, which is like a private companion to the ongoing Cup of Excellence series of countrywide auctions. The next Private Collection auction scheduled to take place is Los Favoritos, where 15 lots of high-scoring coffees will go up for sale on Tuesday, March 18, through a partnership with renowned Nicaraguan producer group Fincas Mierisch.