22 Dec Why do we need the SCA of America?
I have been a member of the SCAA for more than 20 years and I have always believed in the importance of a vibrant specialty coffee association to support what now has become a 30+ billion dollar industry in the USA alone. Over the years I have deeply appreciated how the specialty coffee movement facilitated and promoted four essential values of this fascinating industry:
• Social and environmental sustainability;
• Quality innovation;
• Professional education;
• A collective spirit of changing the world one great cup of coffee at a time.
I have personally volunteered numerous hours for the great cause through committees and a board membership and initially I supported the unification because I believed in the overarching idea. Three years ago we established Boot Coffee Campus to become a proactive institute teaching the entire SCA curriculum. Officials of the SCA recently voiced their praise: “Boot Coffee Campus is the most active SCA campus in the Western Hemisphere.”
Since the unification my colleagues and I repeatedly expressed various concerns about the rollout of the new educational program and the support given by the officials of SCA. Unfortunately, we have noticed a decreased interest in SCA courses.
I also must stress the fact that SCA has quietly sat on the sidelines during the growing crisis in the world of coffee producers. An association that financially thrives with the growing proliferation of specialty coffee should be at the forefront of developing initiatives to free coffee producers from the slavery of the C-market.
Recently, I launched an initiative to invite those who care to sign a petition to bring back “America” in the SCA. Please sign this petition to express your support. I find it still incomprehensible that SCA doesn’t include a formal US chapter, while all other member contries have such an organization. How could I not conclude that the world’s largest specialty coffee nation had its own specialty association hijacked by a group of outsiders?
It is not my intent to blow up the bureaucratic conundrum with its London-based headquarters. Actually, I propose the opposite; let’s strengthen the global SCA by establishing a US-based specialty coffee innovation center with its headquarters in a heralded specialty coffee city. The innovation center will focus on sustainability, technical and scientific advancement, business support and on the development of academic and vocational curriculums. The center can function as its own profit center and will be financed by grants of American specialty coffee companies, by North and Latin American members and by revenue sharing with the SCA expo.
Interested to join our cause? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this blog helps you all to understand my motivations and I sincerely wish that the (American) officials of SCA in London will start listening seriously to the concerns of their members!
PS: please check out our newest initiative, the launch of our scholarship program.