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Coffee Cupping and Value Chain Development Activities

Linking IFAD Coffee Value Chain Projects with Italian Coffee Roasters

SAMCERT is pleased to present “From the Crop to the Cup“, a video realised with the support of IFAD Communications Division.

The video highlights activities, including a cupping, organised in Italy in December 2013, together with the Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare (IAO) and the Associazione Caffè Latino for representatives of IFAD coffee value chain projects from Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Sao Tomé and Principe and the Dominican Republic.

Through events of this kind SAMCERT is seeking to provide technical and market advice to IFAD projects working with small coffee producers and to develop partnerships to increase market access.

For more information, please see IFAD’s Social Reporting Blog, and in particular the post entitled ‘From the crop to the cup: The good fortune of some green beans”.

Enjoy the video!

SAMCERT Showcasing Coffees from IFAD-supported Projects

IFAD supported grant SAMCERT (Strengthening Smallholders’ Access to Markets for Certified Sustainable Products), together with Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare (IAO) and the Associazione Caffè Latino, are organising a range of activities focused at showcasing coffees from IFAD supported projects.

The initiative will take place the first week of December 2013 and will bring to Italy representatives from Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Sao Tomé and Principe and the Dominican Republic involved in IFAD coffee value chain projects.


The programme of the initiative is as follows:
1) From 4-5 December an education tour is planned aimed at Linking IFAD Coffee Value Chain Projects With Italian Coffee Roasters: a diverse group of IFAD representatives involved in coffee value chains, from the above-mentioned countries, will attend technical presentations on coffee roaster practices and participate in related exercises at 3 Italian coffee roasting facilities: Caffè Corsini in Arezzo, Albero del Caffè and Caffè Terzi in Bologna.

2) A Coffee Panel test (or “Cupping”) event to be held at IFAD Headquarters in Rome on 6 December:
Coffee cupping is the practice of testing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. The expert cuppers from the Caffè Latino Association will put their expertise into practice in the evaluation of coffee samples from: Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Sao Tomé and Principe and the Dominican Republic.

Please click on the following link to download the official programme for the event: IFAD Coffee Panel Test Programme

These events are the most visible activities of a more comprehensive process that SAMCERT has been implementing in recent months. The aim is twofold: to provide technical and market advice to IFAD projects working with small coffee producers; and to develop partnerships to increase market access for certified small coffee producers.

Specifically, these activities will serve to:

  • highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the coffees and their processing methods;
  • identify and propose quality management strategies to assist IFAD projects and producers; and
  • provide market advice, particularly with respect to coffee roasters seeking new specialty coffees.


The coffee panel test will be an excellent opportunity for IFAD projects to:

  • obtain a comprehensive overview of how roasters test coffee, with clear information on guidelines, indicators and results;
  • obtain a detailed technical evaluation of the characteristics of the coffees tested;
  • obtain technical advice on the critical aspects of the coffee value chains and insights into improving the quality of the coffee by improving production methods and conditions;
  • obtain realistic and targeted information about market opportunities for selected coffees.

More generally, the panel test will represent an excellent opportunity for capacity-building for IFAD staff regarding the coffee sector.


Coffee Panel Test with the Asociación Caffè Latino – Florence, Italy

SAMCERT and IFAD staff recently attended a coffee tasting in Florence, Italy organised by the experts of the Asociación Caffè Latino. Coffee samples from 5 communities participating in the SAMCERT-IFAD supported PAPAFPA project in Sao Tomé and Príncipe were tested by expert roasters, along with coffees from Central America and from the Harenna Forest in Ethiopia.

The event was organised at the Istituto Agronomico d’Oltremare (IAO) which, together with the Istituto Italo-Latino Americano in Rome, created the Asociación Caffè Latino. The latter is an association founded in 2009 within the context of the project CaféyCaffé supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The association brings together 13 cooperatives from Central America and 11 roasters from Italy with the aim of orienting the production and the processing for the coffee producers in order to meet market) requirements and to strengthen relations among cooperatives and roasters.

The event served not only the testing of the coffee samples, but was also an opportunity to exchange and learn about the support that the project “CaféyCaffé” provides to the coffee cooperatives in Central America, that the project “Agricultural Value Chain in Oromia” provides to the 12 cooperatives in South Ethiopia, and that the IFAD-funded PAPAFPA project in STP provides to CECAFEB (Cooperativa Exportação CAFE Biologico).

The main outcomes of the coffee panel test for SAMCERT were:
a) Information sharing with IFAD-SAMCERT supported coffee producers regarding market potential for their outputs;
b) Guidance on the investments that producers and their cooperatives need to make to improve the performance of the coffee value chain, and to meet market standards (in terms of production, drying, processing, storage and transports);
c) Opportunities for accessing the Italian market.

The feedback for the Sao Tome coffees was very good, underscoring good market potential (linked to both varieties grown and micro-climatic features) and provided valuable advice for the producers with regard to processing and storage practices.

SAMCERT is looking to replicate this valuable coffee testing activity in the near future to lends support the development of coffees from other IFAD supported projects.

For more information, please contact: Michele Maccari:  or David Cuming –



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