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Top Scorers from Rainforest Alliance Fifth Annual Cupping for Quality Announced at SCAA Breakfast

May 5, 2008

Farms in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama have earned top scores from a panel of coffee experts at the Rainforest Alliance’s fifth annual Cupping for Quality. Representatives from the conservation organization announced the results of the cupping on Saturday at the Specialty Coffee Association of America conference in Minneapolis.

The top ranking farms were among 90 Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in 11 countries that participated in the organization’s cupping events in Long Beach, California and New York City last month. Coffee from 94 percent of the participating farms received scores of 80 or above, the threshold score to receive specialty coffee status -- demonstrating that sustainable farming practices often contribute to the production of high-quality coffee.

"Rainforest Alliance Certified farms have met a range of environmental, social and economic criteria that result in better growing conditions for coffee," said Sabrina Vigilante, senior marketing manager at the Rainforest Alliance," and contribute to a more efficient and sustainably run farm."

To even further strengthen that link between sustainability and quality, the Rainforest Alliance has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Coffee Quality Institute to collaborate on trainings and other activities to encourage sustainable development and quality improvement in the coffee sector.

The top scoring farms that received scores of 85 or above in the cupping events were:

0 Cupping for Quality Judge at Work
Hacienda La Esmeralda (Panama)
Comisajul La Montana (Honduras)
Daterra – Boa Vista (Brazil)
Grupo Yariguies (Colombia)
Aguadas (Colombia)
Lictoria (El Salvador)
Carmen Estate (Panama)
Coagro Brisas (Colombia)
Finca Arroyo Negro (Mexico)
La Merced (Colombia)
Finca San Luis (Colombia)
Santa Rita (Nicaragua)

The coffee was evaluated by 18 cuppers representing coffee roasters, retailers and trading companies. They evaluated the coffees based on the following characteristics: fragrance/aroma, uniformity, sweetness, clean cup, acidity, defects, flavor, body, balance and after taste.

"All the judges were impressed by origins that have shown continual improvement in quality year after year," said Rebecca Sanborn, supply chain coordinator at the Rainforest Alliance and one of the cuppers. "This demonstrates that the producers are dedicated to quality throughout the harvest and processing."

Rainforest Alliance certification is awarded to farms that have met the environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), a coalition of conservation organizations in Latin America for which the Rainforest Alliance serves as secretariat. The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, and education for farm children, among other criteria.

The average scores from farms in participating countries and the three highest scoring farms in each country were:

Panama (with three farms participating) 85.49
Top scorers: Hacienda Esmeralda (89.93), Carmen Estate (85.55), La Fortuna (81.00)

Guatemala (with 13 farms participating) 84.93
Top scorers: La Retiro (84.93), San Diego Buena Vista (84.64), La Pampa (84.63)

Peru (with one farm participating) 84.81
Pronatur – Monterrico (84.81)

Costa Rica (with two farms participating) 84.31
Top scorers: Coopronaranjo R.L. (84.82), Cooperativa de Caficultores de Dota R.L. (83.31)

El Salvador (with four farms participating) 83.88
Top scorers: Lictoria (85.98), La Mecca (84.48), Santa Isabel (84.42)

Honduras (with three farms participating) 83.87
Top scorers: Comisajul La Montana (87.22), Cohorsil (83.67), Café Tierra (80.72)

Colombia (with 39 farms participating) 83.54
Top scorers: Grupo Yariguies (86.32), Aguadas (86.08), Coagro Brisas (85.50)

Tanzania (with two farms participating) 83.30
Top scorers: Uru Estate (83.48), Machare Estate (83.12)

Nicaragua (with nine farms participating) 82.91
Top scorers: Santa Rita (85.00), La Bastilla (83.27), Momimboo (83.13)

Brazil (with 11 farms participating) 82.90
Top scorers: Daterra – Boa Vista (86.58), Fazenda Lambari (84.75), Fazenda Sete Cachoeiras Estate Coffee (84.35)

Mexico (with three farms participating) 82.35
Top scorers: Finca Arroyo Negro (85.46), Finca Santa Elena (81.35), España (80.25)

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