For the first auction in the ACE Private Collection Auction Program, the Portland-based nonprofit has partnered with UK-based green coffee trader and roaster Qima Coffee, which specializes in sourcing coffee from Yemen.
According to ACE, Qima and its founder Faris Sheibani have been working directly with smallholder farmers across northern and central Yemen, sourcing microlots and nanolots while maintaining equitable principles to help rebuild the country’s specialty coffee sector. In addition, the company donates 10 percent of its annual profits to agriculture and education projects in Yemen through its Qima Foundation.
“Our hope is to partner with farmers and other producers through this new program outside of our Cup of Excellence National Winners auctions and the work that Qima Coffee is conducting is a great match,” ACE Executive Director Darrin Daniel said in an announcement of the program.
ACE’s National Winners auctions, part of its CoE auction platform, include coffees that scored 85 or above through numerous rounds of judging, but did not ultimately win a CoE award. It is designed to provide an additional market option for participating farmers, while giving buyers an opportunity to load up on great coffees at a fair price.
ACE said it plans to work with Qima to cup nearly 500 microlots, which will then be further analyzed by a jury of professional tasters at its Portland office. Coffees scoring 85 or above will then move on to the auction.
According to ACE, lots will be exported from the UK and will be as small as 50-kilos or one exportable bag. Each lot can be traced to an individual smallholder farmer and will include information about the farm, the processing method and more.
The group expects the auction to go live in July.