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Coffee Quality Institute welcomes Ben Bicknell

February 6, 2023

Ben Bicknell has joined Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) in a leadership position as CQI Community Liaison.

“It is with great pleasure and anticipation that we welcome Ben in this role,” said Bridget Carrington, Interim CEO of Coffee Quality Institute. “His role will have the greatest impact on the learners, and potential learners, who utilize CQI for their coffee education and this is key to CQI achieving its mission.”

Coffee Quality Institute is an independent education nonprofit offering multiple professional education tracks including the Q Grader certification.

“As a freelance consultant, Q Grader and CQI Instructor, I’ve experienced just how passionate and skilled the community surrounding the Coffee Quality Institute is. In this new part-time role, I’m excited about the many opportunities to add value to CQI’s communities, especially the journey that learners take prior, during and post their courses” added Bicknell. “I will be working on connecting and empowering our global network in new ways to amplify the investment learners make in themselves through education with CQI.”

The Q Coffee System utilizes education and in-country technical assistance to achieve impact in its mission to improve coffee quality and the lives of those who produce it. At any given time, there are more than 7,000 certified Q Graders active globally, and their work evaluating coffee using the international language of quality directly impacts the identification of coffees that are eligible as Specialty Arabica or Fine Robusta. Those coffees that grade accordingly are eligible for sale outside of the commodity market and may garner increased prices.

Since the original Quality Evaluation (QE) certifications were created, Coffee Quality Institute has developed similar rigorous education focused on Post-Harvest Processing (PHP), offering producers access to best-practice skills and knowledge. Across both PHP and QE streams, an expanded curriculum of incremental, shorter foundational to certification courses provide accessibility to those wanting to engage with CQI.

“Ben is joining CQI in a role we have needed for a long time,” offered Emma Sage, Director, Education Resources at CQI. “We have a global collective of highly invested, trained people. Supporting and connecting them to each other to the end of continuing to develop that community will increase the value of CQI education for them and their impact on our industry.”