Honduras Cup of Excellence marks 20 years

Honduras is celebrating its 20th Cup of Excellence competition, which provided a chance to reflect on the strides that Honduras farmers have made in developing their high-quality coffees. Well over 3,000 producers have competed since its inception. 508 lots have won a Cup of Excellence and been sold at the online auction for a value exceeding 7.8 million dollars. The much anticipated online auction for the recent 29 winning lots will be held 11 July 2024.

Several producers have gained international fame after winning. Marysabel Caballero, Oscar Tinoco, Oscar Ramírez, and the current champion Benjamín Paz are held in high esteem among buyers. Some have now passed this legacy on to their children.

In 2017 winning producer, Oscar Daniel Ramírez, represented the community of Las Delicias in Danlí, El Paraíso (eastern zone of Honduras). This attracted the attention of the president of the Republic who then brought electricity to the entire community.

“Entire communities are often affected by a resident farmer that wins and in each competition there are discoveries of really great, mostly unknown farmers. Six farmers were rewarded this year that had never entered the competition,” indicated Erwin Mierisch, executive director of the Cup of Excellence programme.

Joaquina Montoya Alvarado of Intibucá agrees, “This is for my children and my community, I have worked hard during the past years and winning the 3rd place is an honour and a lesson for my kids that reward is possible if they work hard.”

The Department of Santa Bárbara, with the villages of El Cedral, Las Flores, and El Cielito, has reached first place in 10 of the 20 competitions, attracting global buyers to the region. 2024 is no exception with the entire village of El Cedral coming together in grand celebration of the 22 wins along with first place.

Honduras officials are at the forefront of developing quality technical education. The first ‘Women and Youth Leadership Forum’ was held in conjunction with the competition. ‘Renovate Without Stopping Production’, led by Instituto Hondureño del Café which aims to improve ageing farms was instrumental” explained Nestor Meneses, IHCAFE’s CoE Coordinator. “This programme supports producer’s efforts to maintain quality and consistency in processing. But it is the life stories, the resilience, and the stoicism when farmers face difficulties that always stand out. Several producers have had to overcome huge health or economic challenges, sometimes temporarily leaving the country to support their families,” he continued.

For samples, regional cuppings and auction information log on to allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org.

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