Brazil - The third edition of the São Paulo Coffee Quality Awards was held in October at the Brazilian Coffee Museum located in Santos at the Coffee Exchange building.
The awards promotion is sponsored by SINDICAFÉ, the São Paulo Coffee Roasters Union, the State Agriculture Secretary, the Santos Commercial Association and with the support of ABIC, the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association and APAS, the Paulista Supermarket Association. As in past years the event was coordinated by Eduardo Carvalhes Jr. Of the traditional Santos Coffee firm, Escritório Carvalhaes.
This year 797 lots of 30 bags each were submitted for selection at 10 regional locations across the State including all of the principle coffee growing regions. After a first classification the samples were reduced to 71 lots consisting of 41 naturally dried coffees and 30 coffees of the peeled cherry type (semi-washed). After a final testing by the arbiters, all expert qualified trade classifiers, seven natural and seven peeled cherry coffee types were selected for auction.
The auction took place on the premises of the Santos Commercial Association under controlled conditions where the participating buyers after testing the coffees in a blind test placed their bids in sealed envelopes observing a minimum price of R$ 368 per bag ($124) 50% more than going market prices.
The winning producers, prices and buyers were announced at an awards ceremony presided by Nathan Herszkowics president of SINDICAFE and executive director of ABIC.
The 10 buyers, some from out of State, submitted bids averaging R$ 690.45 ($230.15) per bag. The highest bid made by the firm Moka Trading reached R$ 1.610.00 ($536.66) for a lot of peeled cherry coffees produced by Joaquim Ribeiro do Valle on his farm, Fazenda Floresta, located at Caconde in the Alta Mogiana region.
This entitled the grower to receive the top prize, a special Aldir Teixeira award for the second time as he was the winner last year also with a lot of peeled cherry which received the highest bid of R$1203.50 ($401.16).
The 10 winning coffees will be commercialized by the buyers in a widely publicized promotion in November with prominent shelf space in the stores of the APAS members. The packages will have a special seal reading, “Special Edition of the Best São Paulo Coffees - 2004 crop”. The advertising will talk-up the suggestion of giving a package of these gourmet coffees to special friends with the same prestige as giving a present of select wines or other beverages at Christmas time.
It was also announced that the first five selected coffees will also participate and be judged on a national basis during the 12th Meeting of the National Coffee Roasters in November in Bahia.
The award ceremony was closed with an address by Duarte Nogueira, the State Secretary of Agriculture who complimented the organizers and producers and buyers and believed the contest had again reached the objectives to give growers an incentive to produce higher qualities and consumers to differentiate coffee qualities and values.
- By Harry C. Jones