CoE & ACE split into two non-profit organisations

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence and Cup of Excellence have split into two separate not-for-profit organisations, each with its own focus and funding opportunities. Both will remain headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Cup of Excellence (CoE), which was formerly owned and operated by Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), recently became a 501c (3) tax exempt nonprofit organisation enabling more opportunity to access greater funding for in-country development. CoE will focus on the competition parameters and scoring, increasing market access to more farmers, education of both international and national cuppers, quality coffee research and technical and farmer education.

ACE will remain the primary marketplace partner for the Cup of Excellence programme and will focus on CoE, National Winner and Private Collection Auctions, membership benefits and consumer awareness.

As the organisational status of the Cup of Excellence and Alliance for Coffee Excellence have changed, there is a need for two separate board of directors. The two organisations will be closely tied together with advisory panel crossover as well as resource and staff sharing; however, the ACE board of directors will be elected by the members and the CoE Board will be nominated.

The Cup of Excellence board of directors has appointed Noelia Villalobos, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of Costa Rica, to the position of board chair. Thomas Pulpan, director and founder of Kaffebrenneriet, and Carl Cervone, co-founder and COO of Enveritas, have been named board members.

“I am honoured to be part of this new COE family and have the opportunity to give back. COE has given so much to our coffee and our producers. This split will help each organisation focus on specific topics and areas to enable even more their outreach; always as sister organisations,” commented Noelia Villalobos.

Alliance for Coffee Excellence has extended its board to include thirteen members, increasing the members from the previous eleven. With the expansion of the board along with some member shifts, there are now eight positions open for the membership-based nonprofit. Board elections are now in progress with ACE members, in country partners and head judges voting in the elections. Voting ends 19 November and an announcement will be made shortly thereafter.

“For supporters of the Cup of Excellence program there will not be much of a visible change,” said executive director for both organisations Darrin Daniel. “ACE and CoE will always be closely tied together prioritizing producer recognition and quality discovery.”

ACE has recently opened its 2022 membership and is preparing to run the first-ever Ecuador Cup of Excellence auction at the end of November followed by Peru. CoE is currently managing the final stages of the Brazil Cup of Excellence competition and will soon be starting the national stage of the first ever Indonesia competition.

For more information on both organisations, visit: or

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