The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is a nonprofit organization working internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it. CQI provides training and technical assistance to coffee producers and other individuals in the supply chain to increase the value, volume and sustainability of high quality coffee production. CQI also works toward building institutional capacity in coffee producing countries by creating systems and infrastructure that encourage a focus on quality that leads to higher farmer incomes.
Coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world and more than 125 million people rely on its production for their livelihoods. Their industry faces a challenge because many of these people are small to medium-sized coffee farmers who are struggling to earn a sufficient income for their families.
The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is working to address these issues by staying focused on quality. They believe quality is the most important variable affecting price and subsequently the livelihoods sustained by that price. Stable and prosperous coffee communities translate into a sustainable supply of quality coffee for the industry.
While they have a very human agenda, CQI solutions are economically driven and provide an innovative and highly efficient approach to sustainability. At the core of their efforts, is a commitment to training and education, providing coffee producers with the tools they need in order to compete in the world marketplace. They have created a market platform that improves on existing trading practices and increases transparency so that farmers can be rewarded for their quality efforts.
In order to achieve their mission, they provide training and technical assistance to coffee producers and other individuals in the supply chain to increase the value, volume, and sustainability of high quality coffee production. Through their work, they:
-Foster Resilient Communities
-Enhance And Improve Livelihoods
-Provide More Integrated Coffee Opportunities
-Share A Universal Language Of Quality
-Put Information (And Power) Into The Hands Of Producers
CQI has worked on a multitude of coffee programs in central and South America, east Africa, Indonesia, and Asia, completing over 500 training assignments while building a common language of quality used throughout the supply chain. On any given month, they are in the field, teaching producers how to process coffee more efficiently or teaching a Q Course via one of their talented Q Instructors or working with national coffee associations to instill forward-thinking change. The impact is immense and long lasting. So whenever you’re enjoying a cup of high quality coffee, it’s very likely that CQI has touched the supply chain at some point, creating more value, a common language, and a deeper respect for the commodity they all know and love.
Q Coffee System:
CQI developed the Q Coffee System, now for both Arabica and Robusta, to reinforce and uphold the standards of specialty coffee as defined by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), which has been setting quality standards within the coffee trade for 26 years. The Q Coffee System is internationally recognized and utilized as the primary instrument that supports SCAA standards.
Coffee Corps is a unique private-public partnership that matches experts in the industry with farmers and associations at origin seeking technical assistance. These individuals volunteer their own time in order to help producers improve their production methods, quality control processes or marketing.
Women in Coffee:
Launched in 2005, the Women in Coffee Leadership Program was originally developed as a yearlong initiative to connect women from different sectors of the coffee industry. This program was designed to develop the diverse talents of women within the industry, strengthening their leadership and technical skills so that they could become stronger and more effective leaders in their home countries and take on broader leadership roles in the global coffee community.