Singapore coffee body to host virtual auction in October

THE Singapore Coffee Association (SCA) will host its first virtual coffee auction in October, aiming to position Singapore as a key trading hub for speciality green bean producers around the world looking to tap Asia's growing coffee market.

Organised by SCA in partnership with Food&HotelAsia (FHA) and supported by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the Singapore (Micro-Lot) Specialty Coffee Auction will be held on Oct 1 in conjunction with International Coffee Day.

The focus will be on micro lots of coffee, which are sourced from a single plot of land in a farm, or in the case of very small farms, from a group of producers living nearby.

Up to 300 bidders are expected to attend, bidding on some 40 lots of speciality coffee.

SCA and FHA said the sellers that will be showcasing their beans are small-holder farmers from coffee-producing countries in South-east Asia, South America and Africa.

Bidders are likely to be roasters, traders or cafe owners with small roasting capabilities. They will be able to request samples of the micro-lots before the auction for their own roasting, to help them decide on their bids during the auction.

SCA will verify the bidders' identities by looking up their company profiles, and contact them for estimates of the quantities they plan to purchase annually. The association will also check if they have any import permits, qualified cuppers in the company and roasting capacity. 

Singapore Coffee Association president Victor Mah thanked ESG for its support of the inaugural event, saying: "It is important for us to continue to strengthen Singapore's position as a coffee hub in the region via effective platforms like this, albeit virtually."

Sophia Ng, director of trade at ESG, said the auction is an opportunity for Singapore companies to expand their network with international and regional buyers. "International and regional coffee traders can also leverage the auction to increase trade and better access the region," she added.

The partnership with FHA, which runs the FHA-HoReCa and FHA-Food & Beverage trade shows and attracted 80,000 attendees at its last event in 2018, is expected to strengthen the auction's international reach to attract bidders.

Added Martyn Cox, event director of FHA-HoReCa and FHA-Food & Beverage: "The partnership with SCA to hold the micro-lot auction, combined with our expertise in connecting people and facilitating new business through the use of technology, will help serve our communities, create value and spur innovation moving forward."