GASABO - Rwandan coffee Thursday scored a record USD 39.7 (Frw21,865) per kg during the international on-line auctioning. Of the seven countries that auctioned under the prestigious coffee Cup of Excellence (CoE), Rwandan coffee was in fifth position, ahead of prominent coffee producers like Honduras and Costa Rica.
Out of the 24 coffees awarded the CoE, coffee from Multi-sector Investment Group Ltd (MIG), received highest bid from Solberg and Hansen AS, one of the largest suppliers of specialty coffee in Norway.
Agnes Kalibata, State Minister for Agriculture, said that making a record bid of about $40 per kg for Rwandan coffee is assurance of quality.
“It is really good news for coffee farmers and we will do whatever it takes to ensure further quality improvement,” she pledged.
Alex Kanyakole, the Director General of Rwanda Coffee Development Authority (Ocir-Café) also said that the price is good compared to the normal price of $3-4 per kg. He revealed that 40 percent of the price will go back to the farmers.
The auctioning was monitored by coffee farmers from different cooperatives, stakeholders and Ocir-café on widescreen at Bourbon coffee café at MTN Centre, Nyarutarama.
It attracted over 70 bidders from 25 countries around the globe participating in the auctioning. Bidders are coffee buyers and sellers.
Bids were made per pound where 1 kg represents 2.20462262 pounds. The minimum value per pound was USD 2.00.
The lowest bid was USD 9.1 per kg (USD 4.2 per pound) for coffee from Coopac Kirorero, ranked 24 in the CoE competition.
However, the CoE rankings did not affect the value of bids.
For example, a coffee lot ranked 5th attracted $15.4 per kg over a lot ranked 3rd with a bid of $17.7 per kg. Experts explained that the variation in bids regardless of the CoE ranking was due to the differences in taste from bidders.
160 coffee companies received the coffee samples for examination before making a bid.
Coffee samples came from different coffee cooperatives and washing stations.
The coffees were selected in August this year during Africa’s first International Cup of Excellence which Rwanda hosted.
Despite holding a similar event known as the Golden Cup of Excellence in 2007, the event was also the first on Rwandan soil. The Golden Cup of Excellence was said to be paving way for the CoE.
The CoE event is the most esteemed award given out to excelling coffees in the world.
After the pre-selection phase in which 125 coffees were involved, 50 coffees remained for the national jury level while only 24 samples were found to meet the international coffee quality standards.