Our SCA Expo Wrap Up

Our 20th Annual Luncheon

Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) hosted its 20th Annual Luncheon last month in Seattle, to a crowd of over 530 attendees: our largest to date. The event was emceed by Lindsey Bolger, who illustrated CQI’s impact on the coffee industry by delving into what our program entails and how it's developed over time for long-term impact. CQI's Executive Director David Roche provided an overview of current projects and highlighted the Q Program’s newest component, Q Processing. The Leadership Medal of Merit was awarded to both David Griswold (Sustainable Harvest) and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC). This award is presented to people and companies who embody CQI’s mission of improving the quality of coffee and the lives of people who produce it.

David Griswold reflected about how he accidentally got into the coffee business. Over 25 years ago a producer asked him, “Puedes ayudarme?” (“Can you help me?”). He decided to do just that, not realizing that he would create one of the first green coffee importing companies built around the health and viability of producers. However, David discussed the dire circumstances of both coffee producing communities and the current state of the industry, with the current C-market hovering around the same price since he entered the industry.

When Roberto Velez accepted the award on behalf of the FNC, he echoed a similar sentiment with a more serious tone: coffee growers are not happy with the current prices and continue to face hardships. He was gracious about the longstanding partnership between CQI and FNC and even joked about his initial skepticism when the Q Program first launched. And while he hopes to see growth on both sides of the supply chain, his message was clear: change needs to happen soon, or coffee will be history.

Thank you to our luncheon sponsors for their continued support of our global programs and initiatives.

Equal Origins Event a Success

CQI’s Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) hosted an Equal Origins (EO) event on Thursday, the opening day of SCA’s Specialty Coffee Expo. The EO event was solely limited to its supporters, where Kimberly Easson, PGE’s strategic director, delivered a warm speech about the current happenings of the program and thanking all of the supporters who made it possible. Liam Brody, Sustainable Harvest’s CEO, talked briefly about how his personal experiences have shaped him and why supporting EO is a definite must.

The event also debuted its Equal Origins poster, designed by South African artist Peta. The poster represents the equal balance and importance of both genders in coffee production, with background elements that suggest this harmonious interplay of genders sustains and supports the production ecosystem. For more information, please contact Kimberly Easson at keasson@coffeeinstitute.org.

A Philippine Cupping

CQI hosted its second annual Philippine cupping at SCA's Expo this year, with over 50 attendees excited to learn about and try specialty arabica and robusta coffee from this year's harvest. Dozens of cuppers were chatting about the line up, which included winners from the cupping competition held earlier this year. Gloria Pedroza, Q Arabica and Q Robusta Instructor, commented, "As a green coffee buyer, I see the potential these (robusta) coffees have. It makes me motivated and excited to see what happens next in this rediscovered origin."

Thank you to our partners and to everyone who showed up and supported this event!


Asian Coffees of Distinction Kicks Off for First Time

Hosted by CQI's Technical Director Mario Fernández, the Asian Coffees of Distinction featured some of CQI's newest processing experiments from Taiwan and a surprise coffee from Thailand, along with:

- Yunnan International Coffee Exchange (YCE) Model Farm lots

- Winners from the 2018 Myanmar Myanmar Coffee Competition which included both natural and washed coffees

- Select winners from the 2018 Philippine Coffee Competition

Attendees were excited to compare nuanced differences from processing techniques and were eager to learn more about the experiments from CQI's newest Q Program, Q Processing.

Other Highlights

Lisa Conway, CQI's operations manager, was part of a panel about making donor dollars count and discussed how CQI works closely with agencies like USDA, USAID, and ACDI/VOCA to maximize ouract at origin.

Alexandra Katona-Carroll, CQI's marketing and communications manager, moderated a panel about how producers can leverage themselves in a competitive market through better branding and a strong online presence.

CC Su, CQI's operations coordinator in China and Asia, led a discussion about China and its growing origin as a specialty coffee powerhouse at IWCA's breakfast on Sunday.


Photo Booth Fun

For the first time, we ordered a photo booth for the luncheon and for the show floor booth, and it was a total hit! Thank you to everyone who let loose and had some fun! A thank you to all our friends and partners we caught up with in Seattle. We hope to see you soon.

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