Sustainable Harvest to hold first silent auction

Specialty coffee importer Sustainable Harvest has announced its first silent auction, La Lucha, which will feature micro-lots from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Colombia.

The auction will take place during the Specialty Coffee Expo being hosted from 19 to 22 April in Seattle, United States.

It will present coffees scoring 86 points or higher from a select group of uncompromising growers Sustainable Harvest has come across over its years of sourcing, and who who have scored highly on the B Corporation assessment of impact and sustainability.

These growers put their sweat and tears into producing the finest coffees in the world, and Sustainable Harvest will offer buyers the unique opportunity to connect with these producers and purchase their micro-lots through the La Lucha auction.

In Spanish, “la lucha” translates to “the fight,” and indicates the daily struggle to persevere in spite of enormous challenges. Every day, coffee producers work in an exceedingly labor-intensive trade, striving to achieve the best coffee quality they can.

Sustainable Harvest chose to name this auction La Lucha to honor both of these supply chain members and their immense contribution to coffee quality.

The growers themselves carefully selected the coffees for the La Lucha auction, which then went through a round of screening and selection by Q Grader cuppers at Sustainable Harvest’s origin offices.

A second, final round of screening by a group of Q Graders and roaster judges – led by 13-time Cup of Excellence judge and former Alliance for Coffee Excellence master trainer Sherri Johns – will trim 24 top coffee submissions down to just 12 coffees for the auction.

Roasters interested in serving as judges for this final round, which takes place 16 April in Portland, can sign up on the Sustainable Harvest website.

The coffees in the La Lucha auction are also high impact. Sustainable Harvest’s staff worked with the producers participating in the auction to have them take B Corporation’s B Impact Assessment, a free, confidential, and incredibly useful tool to benchmark impact and sustainability.

To be eligible for this auction, they had to achieve a minimum 80-point score on the rigorous assessment, which indicates their organisations create a high level of value for their customers, employees, community, and the environment through their business practices.

The auction will take place at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Room 201 of the Washington State Convention Centre. There will be two sessions for cupping and silent bidding – 12pm Friday, 20 April, and 3pm Saturday, 21 April.

Each cupping session features all of the coffees available for auction, so it is only necessary to attend one session to taste all the coffees. An awards ceremony at 4pm on Saturday, 21 April, will announce the winning La Lucha bids and honour the growers in attendance.

Sustainable Harvest’s goal with the auction is to provide the highest value in the market to the growers in the company’s supply chain. The opening price for each lot will be US$5.00 (about A$6.50) per pound.

Producers will receive 90 per cent of the revenue from the final sale price, with the remaining 10 per cent covering auction management and importing costs.

Sustainable Harvest’s mission is to improve the livelihoods of coffee-farming families around the globe through its Relationship Coffee model. Since its founding in 1997, the company has partnered with more than 200,000 smallholder farmers, helping them gain access to premium markets and increased incomes.

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