SCA Launches New Initiative to Address the Coffee Price Crisis and Appoints New Executive Director

SCA Launches New Initiative to Address the Coffee Price Crisis and Appoints New Executive Director

TToday the staff and volunteers of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) are pleased to announce the launch of the Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative aimed at understanding and addressing the price crisis affecting coffee farmers and threatening our supply chain as a whole.

The effort will be led by Ric Rhinehart who will be stepping down from his role as Executive Director of the association to be succeeded by Yannis Apostolopoulos, the current Deputy Executive Director.

The coffee value chain is long and most coffee producers are not paid enough for their coffee to maintain profitable farming operations. This should not be news to anyone who has been paying attention in the coffee industry; we have been hearing about this problem from coffee farmers, producing country institutions, and producer advocates for a long time. A 2017 literature review on coffee farm profitability conducted by the SCA revealed nuances that included among its conclusions a price threshold for profitability of $2.50/lb (read about the report here and here). Most recently, the issue was underlined when in August 2018 the commodity futures price dropped below $1.00/lb.

The SCA Board of Directors recently directed staff to explore options for focusing additional resources to understanding and addressing the issue. To that end, SCA is launching this major new initiative as an organization, allocating substantial resources, both human and financial, to expanding our role and response to the coffee price crisis.

In its first year, the Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative will aim to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Increase funding and resources allocated to better understanding the topic in collaboration with the staff and volunteer advisory councils of the SCA’s Advocacy and Sustainability Centers
  • Conduct research on the coffee price crisis and its effects on producers and the entire value chain
  • Convene experts from the private sector and academia to explore alternative price discovery tools for the specialty coffee industry
  • Outline alternative economic models for the specialty coffee trade and provide a meaningful way for companies to address risks in the supply chain

The work of taking SCA into the future and accomplishing the many critical projects and objectives laid out in our strategic plan will continue to rest in the hands of the Executive Team, led by Yannis Apostolopoulos, our current Deputy CEO, who will become the new CEO and Executive Director. Ric Rhinehart will devote his full attention to the initiative as SCA Executive Director Emeritus.

The SCA’s Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative is critical to the future of the industry and in keeping with our purpose as an association: to foster a global coffee community and support activity to make specialty coffee a thriving, equitable and sustainable activity for the entire value chain.

To learn more about the coffee pricing crisis and farm profitability, visit our website to find articles and our recent webinar series on the topic. For the latest news on the SCA’s response to the crisis, subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.