Specialty coffee trading goes virtual

45 producers and 56 lots of specialty grade coffee from 12 countries will be joining the Singapore (Micro-Lot) Specialty Coffee Auction organised virtually by the Singapore Coffee Auction (SCA), in partnership with Food&HotelAsia, on 1 Oct 2020. All producers are first timers from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Panama, Peru, Timor Leste, Venezuela and Zambia.

For many specialty coffee producers, selling their beans through traders have been the traditional practice. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused travel and social restrictions to be enforced worldwide, has disrupted supply chains and turned coffee trading sluggish. Staging a virtual coffee auction helps to mitigate trade and supply challenges by allowing buyers to source directly from the origin, and also enable coffee producers to establish a presence in the Asian market.

The Singapore (Micro-Lot) Specialty Coffee Auction will present 56 lots of specialty grade coffee beans, including the Panamanian Geisha from Panamanian producers – Café Don Benjie and Cafelino S.A. Dubbed “the world’s most expensive coffee beans”, the Geisha beans were sold at US$1,029 for a pound in 2019. Grown in the highland areas of Panama, the Geisha beans undergo a meticulous process, from handpicking of the ripe cherries to processing the beans.

Xenia de Ameglio, owner, Cafelino S.A., producer of Panamanian Geisha, said: “It is interesting and really innovative for the Singapore Coffee Association to be organising a coffee auction virtually. The event is a timely one, which I trust will effectively help farmers like us to market our green coffee to Asia.”  

Other varieties that will be showcased at the auction include Mundo Novo, Geisha and Yellow Catucaí from Brazil; Caturra Amarillo from Colombia; F1 Centroamericano and Hy-04 Natural from Costa Rica; Bourbon from Guatemala; and many more.

Victor Mah, president Singapore Coffee Association, added: “Since the launch of our Singapore (Micro-Lot) Specialty Coffee Auction in late July, we have received tremendous amount of interest from all around the world. With an anticipated 40 auction lots, we have now 56 lots of high-quality specialty coffee from 12 counties participant in this event. An estimated 200 bidders from around Asia and the Middle East are expected to turn up at this first ever virtual coffee auction.”

To complement the auction, a webinar organised by the ASEAN Coffee Federation (ACF), Effects of Climate change on Coffee Production in ASEAN, will be held before the auction on the same day. Led by ACF, the webinar will feature a panel of industry experts who will shed light on the impact of the ever changing climate on coffee farming in Southeast Asia.