SCA’s Core Values: A Foundation for Our Work Around the Globe

SCA’s Core Values: A Foundation for Our Work Around the Globe

TThe history of the Specialty Coffee Association is that of a multicultural and diverse organization. Our mere existence is the pursuit of bringing members together from all stages of the specialty coffee supply chain, spanning the globe multiple times over every day. Regardless of where we come from or what our stories are, we share some specific core principles that are truly the backbone of who we are as an organization.


Recently, a group of board members, staff, and other volunteers came together to review the values statements of the previous heritage organizations: the SCAE, WCE, and SCAA. The goal of the group was to develop a new set of shared values to guide our unified organization as we move forward as a global membership association.

The new SCA Core Values, recently approved by the Board of Directors, provide a tool for decision-making, setting priorities, and learning from one another, contributing to the SCA’s ability to pursue our nonprofit mission. These values act as a beacon for what most matters to us— especially in tough times or when our staff or volunteers must make difficult decisions. A strong set of shared values can thread our community together, making our bonds and our ability to collaborate that much stronger.

Most recently, the new Core Values have provided the foundation to the work of the ad hoc committees working on the deferred candidacy policy and the revision of events site criteria. To learn about the objectives and the latest work of the ad hoc committees and task force, join us on for an upcoming webinar and visit the SCA website to meet the dedicated members of these committees.

Please find our new Core Values below and on our website at

What do you think about this group of values? We would love to hear from our members, so please send us any comments or questions via email at getinvolved[at]sca[dot]coffee.

#1 Relevant Member Value

We serve our members as a nonprofit global platform that: 1) provides world-class events, education, research, and standards; 2) promotes best practices and professionalism that are inclusive of and adaptive to context; and 3) amplifies voices within the specialty coffee value chain.

#2 Sustainable Coffee Industry

We advocate for the sustainable growth of the coffee industry through collaborative partnerships that pursue equity, prioritize mutual benefits, and result in positive impact throughout the coffee supply chain. We work to improve understanding of critical social issues and inequities through proactive efforts, focused attention, education, and dedicated resources.

#3 Community of Communities

We value diverse perspectives by listening, centering, and adapting to unique local characteristics while encouraging a sense of global community for cultural and economic exchange. We recognize local communities and facilitate development of infrastructure, communication, and sharing within and among coffee communities.

#4 Best People

We recognize that diverse perspectives are needed to have a well-balanced and dynamic representation of and for membership. This includes (but is not exclusive to) race, gender, age, nationality, sexual orientation, member category and career, as well as in intersections of these identities. We develop, empower, and retain the best volunteer leaders and staff to engage our membership and external audiences by fostering an informative, inclusive, rewarding, and mutually-supportive environment.

#5 Ethical Operation

We demonstrate integrity of business practice and nonprofit governance. We comply with local regulatory requirements and act with unyielding dedication to our self-defined commitments. We inspire trust through transparent communication and acknowledgement of accountability, and improve performance through aspiration, self-monitoring and member engagement.

#6 Respect for the Individual

We create, produce, and support discrimination-free and harassment-free safe spaces for personal and professional collaboration, growth, and learning. We recognize that membership benefits and participation in activities differ depending on identity, background, privilege and access to resources, and we acknowledge that every member has a voice.