For three days last week, the entire specialty coffee industry descended on Seattle to celebrate their shared love of coffee. Whether through lectures, coffee skills workshops, cupping sessions, barista championships, poster displays, local tours, networking events, or the exhibition hall, the Specialty Coffee Expo proved to be a lively hub of specialty coffee enthusiasts from around the world.
The Global Coffee Platform would like to thank all those members, potential members, and partners for all the productive meetings held during these three days. Your dedication to GCP’s vision and mission is what drives the sector forward! We would also like to share some highlights (among the many others driving the sustainability agenda forward) from a few GCP Members and partners who were at the 2018 Specialty Coffee Expo.
The International Women’s Coffee Alliance held their annual breakfast. Supporters of the IWCA and gender work in coffee gathered to network and learn about some of the outstanding work the 22 different IWCA Chapters are doing all over the world to empower women throughout the coffee supply chain.
Sustainability Awards for FNC
The program Manos al Agua by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC) was awarded the Project Award for their work on intelligent water management at the farm and landscape level in Colombia’s coffee sector. The program is a private-public partnership between the FNC, Cenicafé, Nestlé, Nespresso, WUR, RVO and APC Colombia. Roberto Velez, FNC’s Chief Executive Officer, accepted the award on behalf of the project.
During its annual luncheon, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) also awarded its Leadership Medal of Merit (Corporate) to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC). The FNC were honored for its commitment of over 90 years to improving farmers’ livelihoods, fostering sustainability and increasing coffee quality, helping to strengthen the Colombian coffee sector as a whole.
Rainforest Alliance Breakfast
To celebrate three decades of work, the Rainforest Alliance hosted its sixteenth annual Sustainable Coffee Breakfast at the Expo. At the breakfast, the Rainforest Alliance honored Juan Jiménez Montenegro, a coffee producer from Finca Santa Rosa in Las Piras, Cajamarca, Peru, with the Change Agent Award. It recognizes an individual or company within the coffee community that demonstrates superior commitment to sustainability through adopting best practices and promoting sustainable certification.
Additionally, Rainforest Alliance highlighted its recent merger with another GCP Member, UTZ, and shared insights on the merger and the path forward for the organization.
WCR Think + Drink
At the annual WCR Think + Drink event, the organization gave updates on their research findings from the past year, as well as a preview of what’s to come in its global efforts to promote sustainable coffee production. The event had a special focus on their newly updated Arabica Coffee Varieties catalog, which adds 11 varieties from six African countries.
Sustainable Coffee Challenge Action Network Workshops
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge also convened four workshops on each of their Collective Action Networks. The sessions showcased the work the Networks have done over the past year and utilized breakout groups to generate solutions on how to address the four different issues – renovation and rehabilitation, labor, sustainable sourcing, and forest mapping.
The Coffee Quality Institute’s annual luncheon is the organization’s singular fundraiser of the year where updates about their work are shared and attendees can network around their common passion for high quality coffee.
Gender Equity in Coffee Documentary
The documentary Gender Equity in Coffee also premiered at the Expo (view trailer). This film aims to raise awareness of the importance for the sustainability of coffee as a commodity and as a community. It was then followed by a Q&A session.