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Introducing Oro de Santa Barbara Honduras Coffee Competition & Auction

“Oro de Santa Barbara”, a regional coffee competition, will be held in conjunction with the VI Coffee Festival of Santa Barbara, Honduras, April 27 and 28, 2018. Honduras is predominantly small producers, who have only 3 to 5 hectares of coffee production. Honduras Coffee Innovation (HCI) will bring a new concept coffee competition, Oro de Santa Barbara, to a regional level allowing small holder farmers to easily access competitions and buyers. International Cuppers will find this experience unique since the event is held in the heart of coffee growing community during the Festival of Coffee combining sourcing and a glimpse into the lifestyle of the local coffee community.

Production of Honduras specialty coffees has been growing and its position in the international market has been appreciated since the beginning of Cup of Excellence Honduras (C.O.E.), 13 years ago. Another successful competition, Project Origin, grows awareness and buyers each year. Both competitions have a very positive influence on the market and livelihoods of the farmers. HCI will augment these successes by initiating and implementing successful regional competitions which focus on small to medium sized farms beginning with Oro de Santa Barbara.

Oro de Santa Barbara is in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is one of the most well-known coffee areas in Honduras while many small holder farms remain without access to the International market for their good quality coffees. HCI believes bringing international cuppers and buyers to the area will build relationships, create more buying opportunities for the cuppers and more selling opportunities for the farmers. This in turn will increase income for coffee families in Santa Barbara. The Coffee Festival is a perfect opportunity to combine tourism and coffee industry showcasing the region.

E.Z. Yon, HCI Co-Founder and Board Member, is hopeful for a positive future for the coffee farmers. He states, “We are excited for Oro de Santa Barbara and other Projects now in the works such as an innovative micro wet and dry mill.”

Domingo Rosales, HCI Board Member and Santa Barbara coffee producer, “The Oro de Santa Barbara is the first event to be held in Santa Barbara which producers will have direct contact with international coffee buyers and judges. This opens a new window for the sale of specialty coffee. We have specialty quality, but not all have been recognized. This event will help motivate us to improve our practices on the farm and increase our awareness of those who buy our coffee.”

Sherri Johns, Head Judge Oro de Santa Barbara states, “International cuppers and buyers love to cup in a competition setting in origin and meet the producers. The Oro de Santa Barbara is an excellent opportunity for establishing personal relationships, finding that special micro lot, and experiencing rural Honduras. There will even be a crowning of the 2018 Coffee Queen of Santa Barbara at the festival.”
International judges will arrive and cup the top scoring coffees in a blind cupping, just prior to the festival. The top 10 scoring coffees from small to medium sized farms will be cupped in a public setting at the Festival then offered for sale in an on-site auction. Producers and cuppers will mingle where all remaining coffees are for sale with the assist of translators and exporters. HCI places buyers and farmers together to negotiate the sale and takes no commission. Farm tours of the local area will be provided.
Honduras Coffee Innovation (HCI) goal is to bring inspiration and innovation to Honduras coffee professionals for establishing new era of Honduran specialty coffee industry. The HCI Mission statement is to recognize the best quality of Honduras specialty coffees by small to mid-size coffee producers and to promote their coffees in major consumer markets while increasing internal consumption of good quality coffees.

For more information on Oro de Santa Barbara and HCI, please contact Sherri Johns at sjohnswholecup@aol.com, E.Z. Yon at ezyon@labcoffee.com or Domingo Rosales at drosalesamaya@gmail.com.

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