Coffee Technicians Guild and Coffee Producers Guild
By Mansi Chokshi, SCAA
The Specialty Coffee Association of America is a mutual benefit trade association with many constituents in the coffee industry. To serve those constituents, we offer both organization and individual memberships. While the organization members are split by business type, the individuals are more commonly known as our professional guilds: Roasters Guild (RG) and Barista Guild of America (BGA).
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a guild as “A confraternity, brotherhood, or association formed for the mutual aid and protection of its members, or for ..some common purpose.” Both the RG and BGA were formed by passionate leaders who rose to the challenge and took on the adventure of starting a new guild. Since these guilds were created in 2000 (RG) and 2003 (BGA), we have not added another individual member category—until summer of 2015, when a few individuals joined together to commit to forming what we are now calling the Coffee Technicians Guild and Coffee Producers Guild.
Over the last six months, these volunteers have recruited other leaders within the industry and met via conference calls, in-person meetings, and other forums like What’s App, to discuss and finalize foundational elements such as vision, mission, and the process of collecting vital information from prospective members and customers.
There is no handbook on how to form a guild, and no two groups are exactly the same; but there are definitely guidelines that SCAA staff has been greatly helpful in providing to these leadership groups. We’ve been helping every step of the way, because this is exactly why we exist—to support our members in engaging with each other and the larger community.
These meetings in Atlanta will be important for various reasons, and they will mean different things to different people. We need your support. We need you to volunteer. We need information. We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Join the mailing lists on the respective websites and please take the surveys if applicable. Attend the meeting and offer feedback. This is your opportunity to be involved and help shape the new membership guilds. Be a part of expanding our specialty coffee community.
Learn what these new guilds are all about and join us for the following meetings during the SCAA Expo:
Coffee Technicians Guild
Meeting on Sunday, April 17 from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm in room C206 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Meet members of the working group in the SCAA Member Lounge from Friday-Sunday from 11:00 am-3:00 pm at Booth 1209.
Coffee Producers Guild
Meeting on Friday, April 15 at 3pm in room B403 at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Mansi Chokshi is the Membership Director for the Specialty Coffee Association of America.