Two controversial announcements have taken the coffee social media world by storm this season.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) announced it would suspend the regional competitions leading up to the United States Barista Competitions. Tracy Allen, president of the SCAA board of directors, issued an apology for how the news was announced on June 29. In his note, he hinted that alternatives for qualifying events will be explored.
The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) released a statement that it would suspend, in theory temporarily, some of its Cup of Excellence (COE) competitions. The ACE announcement, while having drawn public criticism on social media platforms, has not yet resulted in an apology. Some critics of the move to scale back while re-inventing the auction platform think it unfair that competitions will be held in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras in 2016.
Both cases make for interesting case studies in managing communications in a digital world. In addition, that two such announcements so close together raise many questions about financial sustainability of competitions in the coffee sector.
To watch for additional news from both organizations: