By Peter Giuliano, SCAA
Eight years ago, we had a new idea: what if we brought together the leaders in coffee to discuss new ideas, future challenges, scientific research and the other issues facing us in Specialty Coffee? The result was the Specialty Coffee Symposium, and we had our very first Symposium in Atlanta, just before the 2009 SCAA Expo. That year, we discussed topics like how climate change was going to affect coffee, the possibility of GMOs in coffee, the then-new Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, and shared current research in coffee. The impacts of this first Symposium were powerful- it galvanized our community of thought leaders, and led directly to the creation of World Coffee Research, a scientific research institution which is going strong today. In the years since, we’ve begun sharing our talks openly on the internet, added elements like the Sensory Experience room, Conversation Lounges and Fellowship program, and have expanded our community of coffee thought leaders to nearly 500 per year.
This year, we made a big, exciting step. We adopted a new name: Re:co Symposium (which stands for ‘regarding coffee’), and we internationalized the concept, having symposiums in Europe and New Zealand. This year- in the same city where the inaugural Symposium took place- America’s first Re:co Symposium will occur. Fulfilling the original vision but with an increasingly global outlook, we will this year convene the most compelling, intelligent, and insightful group of people in coffee for a discussion of the most important things we need to address. Business leaders, scientists, development professionals, and coffee professionals of all stripes will connect, gain insights and change the face of specialty coffee.
If you are one of these people who seek to lend your voice to the future of specialty coffee, we invite you to join us at the Re:co Symposium, on April 13-14, just before the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Expo.
Peter Giuliano is the Sr. Director of Symposium for the Specialty Coffee Association of America.