Monday 24 June 2024
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COMPETITIONS – Cup of Excellence returns $40 million in proceeds to farmers, producing countries

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PORTLAND, Oregon, US – Cup of Excellence total auction proceeds surpassed the $40 million dollar mark in its 90th auction, Brazil Late Harvest 2014.

The Cup of Excellence program, which began in 1999, has consistently rewarded farmers for the exemplary quality coffees they produce despite ebbs and flows in the volatile coffee market over the last 15 years.

It is estimated that the impact of Cup of Excellence is multiple times larger than the actual auction proceeds once the increased premiums for additional coffees from the winning farms, micro regions and increased overall quality is factored in.

Approximately 83% of total auction proceeds go directly to farmers and 17% go to country organizers to offset the cost of the competition.

“The impact from the Cup of Excellence program has been huge,” explains Susie Spindler, Executive Director of Alliance for Coffee Excellence and Co-Founder of Cup of Excellence.

“Not only does the program raise the level of quality and information available to the roasters from individual farms but it has created a structure of transparency that was unknown in the industry prior to the auctions.


The focus on making sure that top quality is rewarded financially has, in several countries, burst the price ceiling that most small farmers operated under for hundreds of years and has helped to empower coffee farmers to become more entrepreneurial with their farms.”

Cup of Excellence will hold 10 more competitions in 10 countries throughout 2014, ending the year with its 100th competition in Brazil, coincidently home of the first Cup of Excellence competition.

The program continuously sets the standard for exemplary and unique specialty coffee while building farm to consumer transparency and most importantly, discovering and supporting quality coffee growers.

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence, the non-profit that owns the Cup of Excellence program, does not receive any of the auction proceeds but instead receives a flat fee to execute Cup of Excellence, enjoys membership support and implements focused training programs in both the producing countries and the marketplace.

About Alliance for Coffee Excellence & Cup of Excellence

Alliance for Coffee Excellence is a US-based global membership organization formed of members ranging from all sectors of the coffee industry including roasters, retailers, importers, farmers, consultants, equipment manufacturers and individuals all dedicated to advancing excellence in coffee.

Cup of Excellence, a program which gives out the most prestigious award in coffee, has affected several thousands of farmers as its unmatched focus on reward for quality and transparency to the farmer has changed the specialty coffee industry.

Remaining programs will be held in:

  • Nicaragua
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Rwanda
  • Burundi
  • Colombia
  • Brazil (Early Harvest)

For more information about Alliance for Coffee Excellence, Cup of Excellence program, schedule and membership visit:


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