Project to enhance access to the African specialty coffee market through promoting the sale of coffee online.

African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have come together to promote East African coffee to the global coffee market using an innovative online market place and business model developed by Bean Auction Ltd.

AFCA’s Taste of Harvest program is the leading regional cupping competition in Eastern and Southern Africa. It provides producers, millers, and exporters in AFCA member countries with a platform to showcase their coffee.

While the main purpose of Taste of Harvest is to identify, catalogue, and promote the region’s quality coffees, the program has a much broader impact on the development of the region’s coffee sector by facilitating linkages between African producers and international buyers and building capacity across the African coffee value chain. The results of the competition are  published and buyers can approach the producers directly and make an offer to purchase this coffee.

For the past year AFCA has been searching for an auction system to help market African Specialty coffee globally. It is hoped that by advertising the coffee to a larger group of potential buyers African companies will be able to obtain  better prices.

In a collaboration facilitated by ITC under the Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) project  Bean Auction Ltd. is working with AFCA to provide an online solution for a specialty coffee auctions and an electric platform for African coffee. Bean Auction Ltd is leveraging IT, local partnerships and proven supply chain management techniques to enhance outreach of the auction and to mitigate risk . This model fits with AFCA’s long term strategy.

The new Taste of Harvest competition will use AFCA’s network of industry and local government connections to develop online specialty auctions that work for Africa. Each country has a slightly different system with different legal and infrastructure constraints that need to be taken into consideration. Existing infrastructure in these countries will be leveraged to deliver measurable benefits to the coffee industry in Africa.

“This project will change the way the market perceives East African coffees and in doing so will generate higher prices for coffee producers. In turn, this will demonstrate to farmers that investing in improving quality results in better prices.” Samuel Kamau, CEO, African Fine Coffee Association

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