Your question is rather similar to that responded
to in QA 059 in the Q&A Archive and our first reaction is to
recommend you to read this carefully, as well all the other QA's
that are mentioned in that answer.
Having said this, you are somewhat ahead in that you have already
had your coffee evaluated through the East African Fine Coffee
Association (EAFCA) 'Taste of Harvest' panel. As such you have the
taste profile and the assessment that your coffee is indeed of
specialty grade. Of course there are many quality profiles and
price levels under that heading but, also based on our personal
knowledge of Malawi coffee generally, your coffee could indeed find
takers amongst the specialty coffee trade in either continent. You
have the further advantage that in February 2006 EAFCA holds it's
Annual Convention and Trade Show in Tanzania where you can no doubt
exhibit your coffee on the Malawi Chapter's stand.Our recommendation is to try and get a little ahead:
1. Produce a fact sheet listing all necessary information regarding
your coffee: location, altitude, variety, soils, irrigated or
rainfed, acreage grown, how grown (shade, organic …) harvesting and
shipping season, tonnage produced, export procedure and port of
exit, current availability and the cup description as per the Taste
of Harvest reports.
2. Prepare a number of samples of not less than 300 grammes each
that are representative of your 2005 production.
3. Verify which specialty buyers are registered (and are still
registering) for the event and start sending them advance samples,
together with the fact sheet and any other information you may
have, including pictures of your fields etc. Tell them you will be
at the event and ask for them to meet you during the event.
In this way you will be able to obtain their assessment of your
coffee in face-to-face discussions without the need for expensive
travel on your part… We think this is a good first step along the
road to entry into the specialty market. Good Luck!
Posted 19 December 2005.