By Kim Elena Ionescu
The year was 2005, Expo was in Seattle, and the first sustainability award was given by the SCAA to a project of Starbucks and Portland Roasting named Las Nubes Sustainable Coffee. Twelve years later, we’re back in Seattle and it’s another especially significant year for the Sustainability Award. In 2017, the SCA will recognize two winners: one sustainable project (a category that will be familiar to those that have attended the Awards Ceremony in recent years) and one in the new category of sustainable business model.
Funcafe will receive the 2017 Sustainable Project Award for its High School Center with Coffee Specialization program. These high school centers are an educational alternative aimed at creating new opportunities for young adults in rural areas in Guatemala by focusing on developing skills that will be relevant to jobs in their communities, including and especially in areas related to coffee production.
The 2017 Sustainable Business Model goes to Progreso Foundation for their work to strengthen producer organizations and other social enterprises supporting smallholder farms in eighteen countries around the world, including innovative initiatives that have turned into programs, like Grow Ahead and ProClimate.
These award winners were chosen from among more than thirty applicants by an awards committee comprised of international volunteers, and winners were recognized and interviewed at the Launch Party and Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, April 20th at the Paramount Theater.
Kim Elena Ionescu is the chief sustainability officer of the Specialty Coffee Association.