The Fairtrade Access Fund (FAF), managed by Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM), held a “Mini-Forum for Coffee Exporting leaders” at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), a half day seminar for its agricultural division clients. The Mini-Forum aimed at expanding the clients´ knowledge on some of the most important cross-cutting topics in smallholder agriculture today.

Every year, more than 10,000 people descend upon the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) annual conference. Among them, exporters, importers, wholesalers, retailers, and many more actors participating in the specialty coffee value chain. The SCA conference is a chance for coffee buyers and exporters to negotiate terms for the upcoming harvest, get up to date on market trends, and meet with old and new industry actors. “It is the best opportunity to close deals with our buyers, and see what´s happening in the world of coffee”, said Paul Quezada, General Manager of Villa Rica Golden Coffee in Peru.

At this year’s conference in Seattle, WA, Incofin hosted a half-day “Mini-Forum for Coffee Exporting Leaders”, comprising seminars for 15 of its agricultural division clients (FAF and agRIF funds), including Coffee Cooperatives and sustainably focused Coffee SMEs from several Latin American countries. The Mini-Forum, sponsored by the Technical Assistance Facility of FAF, aimed at expanding our clients´ knowledge by presenting interactive perspectives from experts like Jorge Cuevas, Chief Coffee Trader at Sustainable Harvest, Rene Capote, Product Manager for Coffee at Fair Trade International, and Stacy Bocskor, Business Development Manager, North America at Utz/Rainforest Alliance. The forum also featured Mark Lundy, Senior Researched for CIAT and FAF Investment Committee Chair, for his expertise on Coffee and Climate Change. Finally, Eduardo Gustale from Fundación Paraguaya´s Poverty Spotlight Program addressed the topic of how poverty reduction can be actively targeted by our coffee exporting cooperatives and sustainably minded coffee SMEs. The event brought our clients together in a friendly atmosphere for learning, discussion, and sharing — with each other and the Incofin team.

We very much valued participating at this mini-forum, as it gives us the chance not only to stay updated on our industry, but also to meet other exporters and learn from them.” – Juan Francisco Gonzalez, General Manager of Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala.

These seminars and panels ultimately provided a vibrant environment for our clients to learn, discuss and share with each other, key industry stakeholders and the Incofin team.