HAMBURG, Germany – The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) and Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG), as one of the main training sponsors and partners, piloted a new Robusta training with a workshop on NKG’s Kaweri Coffee Plantation, Uganda. The learnings from this workshop will be incorporated in new Q Processing 2 Robusta course that will offer opportunities to change the image and paradigm of Robusta and promote fine Robusta coffee across the globe. The course is expected to be released by the end of 2022.
The CQI Q Processing 2 Team, NKG Quality Service and international coffee experts visited the farm in June 2022. “Kaweri Coffee Plantation in Uganda is NKG’s flagship for high quality Robusta.”, says Gloria Pedroza, Head of Quality NKG Quality Service, which makes it a perfect fit for the CQI training. Etienne Steyn, Managing Director of Kaweri, was also pleased to host this workshop: “It was great to have this international group of coffee professionals coming together on Kaweri, sharing great enthusiasm and passion for coffee, particularly Robusta, a coffee which has been pushed aside into a corner for far too long. [Through this new program], Robusta coffee now has an enormous opportunity to come to the forefront with a changed perception.”
To achieve this change, the commitment from CQI is essential as it contributes significantly to educational developments in the coffee industry. With its coffee quality trainings, the non-profit organization reaches a wide audience and creates awareness about coffee quality. By adding the course piloted on Kaweri to their curriculum, CQI will ensure that the same professional level of education is available for Robusta as it is for Arabica, as Tina Yerkes, CEO of CQI, outlines: “The trainings for Arabica and Robusta are not the same, and that was why it was important for us to trial the new course with the intention to make it widely available to coffee professionals. Given the many challenges that producers face, these post-harvest processing classes are important tools for improving the quality of their coffee”.
Furthermore, Tina Yerkes is satisfied about the cooperation with NKG and points out that the partnership is an excellent opportunity for a nonprofit and a large industry player to work together: “These are critical partnerships to move the needle on improving producers’ livelihoods, making coffee education accessible and ultimately ensuring sustainability of coffee production. NKG recognized the importance of Robusta education and was willing to partner in this creative way. We are grateful for their support and partnership.”
For years, NKG has strived to promote high-quality Robusta. The cooperation with CQI therefore provides an opportunity to build knowledge, experience and expertise that will help improve the quality of Robusta and its appreciation in the market and provide sustainable income opportunities for farmers.
That efforts to improve Robusta quality are worthwhile explains Gloria Pedroza, who sees great potential in Robusta coffee: “Historically Robusta has been essential component of blends, mainly espresso blends, and it has characteristics that are appreciated by consumers. However, there is not much experience about how to appreciate and rate its attributes. Processing techniques for Robusta have not been fully explored the way it has been done for Arabica, although experience on the field has shown that among other factors, the post-harvest processing techniques have an impact on the cup quality of Robusta as well. We believe it is important to pay the same attention to both species when it comes to field practices and post-harvesting processing”.
Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) is a globally operating green coffee service group, focusing on coffee only. In more than 50 companies in 26 countries, more than 2,600 highly skilled employees are active in the sectors Export & Milling, Import, Farming, Agents & Representative Offices, and Services.
NKG Kaweri Coffee Plantation Ltd. is the first large-scale Robusta plantation in Uganda and is also the first farm that has introduced the Robusta washing process in big volumes, giving the coffee a particularly good quality. Kaweri occupies a total area of 2,512 ha, of which 1,626 ha are planted with Robusta coffee and 36 ha with woodlots. About 25% of the total land area is comprised of natural, indigenous highland rainforest.
Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is a non-profit organization working internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of people who produce it. CQI’s vision is an education system that will pave the path to self-sufficient, thriving, sustainable coffee communities by supporting a common language of coffee and the best scientific practices throughout the value chain to improve quality. CQI is best known for its Q Arabica/Robusta Grader program, which is considered one of the most recognized in the coffee industry.