Qima Coffee and Alliance for Coffee announce Best of Yemen 2022 auction
Qima Coffee and the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) announced plans to host the Best of Yemen 2022 auction to celebrate and showcase Yemeni coffee. To highlight and celebrate Yemeni coffee’s role in promoting peace and development in Yemen, this year’s auction theme will be “Catalysing Peace and Prosperity.”
ACE’s Private Collection Auction was established as part of the organization’s mission of rewarding exemplary coffee farmers and supporting farmer inclusion and access to premium markets. “We’ve been working closely with Qima Coffee for the last 4 years through ACE’s Private Collection Auction series with the ultimate ambition of giving all Yemeni farmers an accessible platform to reach premium markets. The Best of Yemen is a step in that direction and given our past experience in other countries struggling through conflicts, this competition and auction sheds immense light and ultimately motivates buyers to learn more about Yemen” executive director Darrin Daniel stated.
After running a series of successful Yemen-focused auctions, Qima Coffee and ACE launched the Best of Yemen auction program last year. The aim is to facilitate market access for Yemen’s entire coffee farming community. Unlike previous auctions that were open only to farmers from Qima’s network, the Best of Yemen was developed as a platform for any coffee farmer in Yemen to participate and have their coffees amongst the winning lots.
Through this year’s theme of “Catalysing Peace and Prosperity”, the auction will aim to showcase and raise awareness of coffee’s critical role as a force of peace, stability, and hope for Yemeni farmers and Yemenis at large. In that spirit, the Best of Yemen is entirely apolitical, independent and grassroots-led, with no associations or affiliations to any political, ethnic or tribal group in Yemen. This is an important distinction in a country suffering from an intractable civil war.
Founder and CEO of Qima Coffee, Faris Sheibani, states “Over the last few years, through our work with both Qima Coffee and the Qima Foundation, we have established numerous coffee development projects to deliver sustainable long-term livelihood generation in the communities we operate in. We have seen first-hand the critical role coffee can play as a vehicle for peace and development and the hope and ambition it represents to those who may otherwise be pulled into the destructive forces of the conflict. It is no secret that Yemen is in the throes of one of the worst civil conflicts in the country’s history. Whilst this is something that we often prefer not to dwell on as it reinforces the problematic narrative of Yemen as a failed, helpless nation, we are taking the opportunity this year to highlight and celebrate coffee’s role as a messenger and vehicle of peace and prosperity to support Yemen through its troubled times. In line with this ethos, and as part of our commitment to supporting peace and development, we will be donating 10% of auction proceeds to the Qima Foundation to fund an upcoming development project in one of Yemen’s most conflict-stricken regions.”
Founded as a social enterprise in 2016 in the midst of Yemen’s civil conflict, Qima Coffee´s core purpose is to utilise coffee as a vehicle for sustainable livelihood generation in Yemen’s rural communities. Since its inception, Qima Coffee has scaled its farmer network from 30 farmers in one village to over 3000 farmers in 55 communities. In 2021 Qima Coffee scaled its social enterprise model globally and established its first sourcing operations outside of Yemen in Colombia last year, and is continuing with its expansion to establish operations in Ecuador this year.
The Qima Foundation was established in 2018 as a Yemen and UK registered charitable development organization focusing on coffee-growing rural communities. The foundation’s activities and projects are centered around three main pillars; Sustainable Agriculture, Gender Justice, and Education for all. The foundation has led numerous development and social projects in recent years including establishing genetically verified nurseries, seedling distribution, Technical Assistance training to farmers, irrigation projects for farming communities, and educational scholarships for vulnerable children.
Plans are underway for the auction to go live on 9 August 2022. To find out more about the auction or to be involved in the historic jury, please reach out to ACE at [email protected] or to Qima at [email protected].