Coffee excellence for El Salvador
The Cup of Excellence is a competition of coffee quality which takes place in coffee-producing countries around the world. The competition just concluded in El Salvador with the winning coffee finace located in La Palma, Chalatenango. You can read about all the top farms in this year's competition here.
The 2017 auction, organized by the nonprofit Alliance for Coffee Excellence and in-country partners following a successful 2017 Cup of Excellence quality competition, shattered previous CoE El Salvador auction records, with numerous international coffee buyers offering more than $95 USD per pound for a honey-processed Pacamara coffee from the Santa Rosa Farm. The previous individual high in El Salvador was $50.10....
The auction represents a major win for the Santa Rosa farm — founded in 1979 by Jorge Raul Rivera near the municipality of La Palma in Chalatenango Department — but also for the Pacamara variety, known not only for its extraordinarily large bean size, but now also for its quality potential throughout the country.
The second- and third-highest earning coffees from the auction — coming from Maria Elena Avila’s Ausol farm and Gloria Mercedes Rodríguez’s Finca Nejapa, respectively — each earned well over $20 per pound. Buyers of those coffees hailed from China, Italy and Estonia.The auction marks some good news for El Salvador's coffee industry which has been severely challenged in recent years by a plague of coffee rust ("la roya") cutting yields and damaging coffee bushes in many areas of the country. Just before the arrival of coffee rust, El Salvador exports of coffee beans in 2011 had topped $463 million. In 2016, exports had dropped by more than two-thirds to $109 million.
The government and coffee producers are looking for ways to address the financial, technical and ecological challenges facing the industry in El Salvador.