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Hacienda El Roble Coffee Breaks Grounds for Health Auction Record at $120/lb

Hacienda El Roble Colombia

Hacienda El Roble. Daily Coffee News 2014 file photo by Kelsey Mutter.

In its 10th year, the Grounds for Health auction saw a record-breaking bid this Spring, when Farmington, New York-based roasting company Georgio’s Coffee Roasters locked in a high bid of $120.05 per pound for a coffee donated by renowned Colombian producer Hacienda El Roble.

In total, the Spring GFH auction brought in $23,442 for the Vermont-based nonprofit, which has been providing cervical cancer screening and prevention in coffee-growing communities since 1996. Money from the auction will go directly toward Grounds For Health’s programming in Ethiopia and Kenya.

For Georgio and Lydia Testani of Georgio’s, the decision to invest in the coffee wasn’t merely based on quality. Georgio Testani said he has known Hacienda El Roble’s owner for 15 years, while making several visits to the Colombian farm, in the Santander region, during that time.

The Hacienda El Roble Coffee sold at auction is a variety referred to as HR-61, which Hacienda El Roble claims is exclusive to the estate. According to the GFH auction website, previous crops of the HR-61 coffee have only been available in roasted form from Australia’s Proud Mary.

In an announcement sent to Daily Coffee News, Georgio Testani said the lot’s Bird Friendly certification also played a role in the purchasing decision.

“It’s a risk to the farmer to grow coffee that’s Bird Friendly,” Testani said, noting that Lydia Testani is a roaster who originally comes from Colombia. “It’s important that consumers understand why sustainable coffee is the best and that they continue to support it and the farmers that grow it.”

In total, the coffee purchase raised $3,121.30 for GFH. The highest-earning donor in the auction program was Houston-based green coffee importer Walker Coffee Trading, which donated four lots from four different origin locations that raised a collective total of $4,265 for GFH. Overall, 25 coffee-related companies donated green coffees or coffee equipment. A full list of donors and auction winners can be found here.

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