The Swirling Winds of the Global Coffee Trade in 2018

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Daily Coffee News photo.

The coffee trade weathered some remarkably swirling winds in 2018. While political instability among various producing and traditional importing countries disrupted some traditional trade channels, there was also some remarkable innovation toward transparency and supply chain efficiency through technologies such as blockchain.

2018 also saw absolutely bonkers prices paid for some high-end auction coffees, underscoring the wide chasm between the premium specialty market and the commodities market, where a coffee price crisis is ongoing.

Here we feature some of our top trade-related stories of the volatile year that was 2018:


US State Department Confirms Withdrawal from the International Coffee Agreement

Following a wave of anti-globalization steps made since United States President Donald Trump took office, officials from the U.S. State Department have confirmed the country’s withdrawal from the International Coffee Agreement.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain In Coffee, Part 2: At Origin

While some specialty coffee retailers are taking advantage of the virtual currencies for which blockchain was originally pioneered (see Part One of our series on cryptocurrency and blockchain in the coffee industry), others are pursuing blockchain itself as a means of securing crucial data and saving money and time to the benefit of everyone in the global coffee supply chain.

Celebrated Coffee Farms Lacking a Strong Web Presence, TTC Analysis Shows

The team at the Transparent Trade Coffee has has dug deep into the web to unearth insights regarding the online presence of some of the world’s most renowned coffee farms.


Photo courtesy of Royal Coffee, Inc.

Auctioning Coffees at Origin: Kenya’s Coffee Exchange

Recently I took a dive into the changes in policy in Tanzania that have reshaped the cooperatives and auctions in that country. Here, I’d like to take a close look at one of the most well-known national auctions and affiliated cooperative systems in Kenya.

Unrest in Nicaragua Disrupting Some Export Routes

A month-long protest resulting in violence and civil unrest in Nicaragua has caused transportation shutdowns affecting the export of Nicaraguan coffees following the recent harvest season.

Hacienda El Roble Coffee Breaks Grounds for Health Auction Record at $120/lb

In total, the Spring GFH auction brought in $23,442 for the Vermont-based nonprofit, which has been providing cervical cancer screening and prevention in coffee-growing communities since 1996. Money from the auction will go directly toward Grounds For Health’s programming in Ethiopia and Kenya.


Coffees drying at the Elida farm owned by Lamastus Family Estates. Best of Panama auction photo.

Natural Geisha Breaks Best of Panama Auction Record at $803 Per Pound

A natural-process Geisha from the Lamastus Family Estates in Boquete, Panama, fetched $803 per pound yesterday at the Best of Panama green coffee auction hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama. It’s the highest per-pound price ever paid at the coffee auction, and the purchase continues a trend in the high-end specialty coffee market in which buyers hailing from Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. are spending unprecedented amounts of money to secure what they believe is the best of the best.

After Hiatus, Rwanda Cup of Excellence Returns with 340+ Coffee Submissions

After a two-year hiatus, the Cup of Excellence competition returned in Rwanda earlier this month, with 28 winning lots receiving scores of 86 or above from an international jury. Rwanda was the first African country to host a CoE competition, led by the Portland, Oregon-based Alliance for Coffee Excellence along with in-country partners, with the first CoE there dating back to 2008.


Coffee buyer Joel Pollock, owner of Florida-based Panther Coffee, with the winner of the Best of Cauca coffee festival Israel Moncayo Salazar, from the municipality of Sotora, Cauca. Photo courtesy of Boot Coffee.

Best of Cauca Auction a Model for Coffee Success in Colombian Post-Conflict Zones

Among the numerous regional events being held to promote specialty coffee cultivation and quality in Colombia’s post-conflict zones is the growing Best of Cauca festival and auction, now in its fifth year. Organizers of the annual event hope that the increased access and exposure to new markets provided by the platform will continue to encourage farmers to continue producing coffee over illicit crops, primarily coca.

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