Rwanda is set to award, for the third time best coffees during the Coffee Cup of Excellence competition and Awards slated for August 26, 2011.
The prestigious competition which is conducted in three stages attracted 189 samples of coffee and only 132 qualified for the international jury selection.
The Deputy Director General Export and Market Operations at the National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB), Ndambe Nzaramba, told Business Times in an exclusive interview that coffee farmers have prepared themselves for the past four months to take part in the competition.
“In order ensure transparency, we hire an auditing firm to handle the coffee coding. Each winning coffee has its own flavour and signature from the soil where it grows,” Nzaramba noted.
The Cup of Excellence program is owned by non-profit organisation Alliance for Coffee Excellence and is dedicated to exemplary coffee and farmers.
Nzaramba explained that the event benefits farmers as winning coffees are sold through an internet auction to highest bidder.
“Since the competition started in Rwanda in 2007, it has improved and benefited farmers directly. The best coffee last year was sold at US$52.05 per kilo and the last at US$16.09 compared to price of US$3.5,” he said.
He further added that through the process, farmers tend to increase the quality and production of coffee which increases the country’s coffee visibility and quality.
The awards come from a strict competition that selects the very best coffee produced in that country for that particular year. The winning coffees are chosen by a select group of national and international cuppers and are cupped at least five different times during the competition.
The country hosted the first ‘Cup of Excellence’ in 2008 where coffee farmers in the country were boosted for outstanding quality production.
Cup of Excellence was started by a group of dedicated coffee connoisseurs who along with international governmental support and NGOs realised that a competition and auction was an effective way to recognise farmers monetarily for their hard work and effort.
The number of coffees that feature at this prestigious award depends entirely on the quality of the entrants. The requirements are so strict that very few coffees from a country are honoured this way.