Farmer-to-Farmer Coffee Cupping and Negotiations

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Contract

Company Description

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 21 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Job Description

NCBA CLUSA’s USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program sends American farmers and agribusiness professionals on 2-4 week agricultural development assignments, promoting sustainable growth and agricultural development worldwide.  Volunteer technical assistance from U.S. farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives and universities helps smallholder farmers in developing countries improve productivity, access new markets and conserve environmental and natural resources.  During COVID-19 we have shifted to a hybrid volunteer model that affords US volunteers and in-country volunteers the opportunity to continue to provide technical assistance.   For more information visit NCBA CLUSA Farmer-to-Farmer.

NCBA CLUSA is currently seeking 2 (1- US volunteer and 1- volunteer based in Ecuador) qualified Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Coffee Cupping and Negotiations candidates to support Asociación de Cafés Especiales del Ecuador (ACEDE) based in Quito, Ecuador.  

ACEDE was founded in 2007, with the aim to give Ecuadorian coffee international recognition and added value. It currently has 35 members from all four coffee producing regions of the country and works in the coffee industry including the supply chain. ACEDE advocates for policies and processes in support of the specialty coffee sector in Ecuador to assure the best quality and price for their producers.  Currently individual producers are responsible for negotiating contracts with their clients.  ACEDE has recognized that the producers do not understand the true value of the coffee they produce and would like to receive cupping and negotiation trainings. 

Duration: 2 weeks, June- August 2020.  (Due to the global impact of COVID-19, Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer assignments are tentatively scheduled to restart summer 2020)


  • The volunteer will carry out a comprehensive training in cupping of coffee samples for the purposes of scoring, identification of lots, and quality against the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) physical and sensory criteria for specialty coffee. This training will enable ACEDE members to better negotiate their coffee in national and international markets.
  • Volunteer will need to assess the state of coffee beans currently provided by members to determine quality.  Based on findings provide a cupping training session.
  • Create a brief guide for cupping arabica and robusta coffee, including biosecurity measures applicable for the cupping process.
  • Create a guide for defect identification and its impact in the cup quality.


  • The volunteer should have experience with coffee cupping, be a Q-grader, credentialed by CQI to grade and score coffee (arabica and robusta) using standards developed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).
  • Knowledge of coffee market trends, business administration, negotiation skills are desired
  • Experience in the coffee industry in Latin America is a plus
  • Available for virtual communications with Host Organization, Staff, Co-volunteer
  • US candidate must be legally able to work in the U.S. without sponsorship
  • Advanced English language skills; reading, writing, speaking

Additional Information

All application materials must be submitted in English.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

NCBA CLUSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity.  All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors.