Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) leaders and their SCAE counterparts in Europe are awaiting a feasibility report on merging.
“Being coffee specific professionals, we have enlisted a group that specializes in exploring potential collaborations and how they might work mechanically,” said SCAA president Tracy Allen.
I hope to see early findings sometime this month and then assemble the board to review at our meeting in January, he said.
In Europe Specialty Coffee Association of Europe co-founder Alf Kramer said an online survey “indicated that member opinions were very positive for the idea, in general terms.”
Response was “by far positive enough to continue to the practical implications,” said Kramer.
No formal opposition is apparent but some SCAA members have voiced concerns.
Donald Schoenholt, president at Gillies Coffee Co., and a SCAA founder, suggested that, “for added perspective, a presidential commission made up of folks who have skin in the specialty coffee game as past presidents, and lifetime achievement laureates be commissioned to also study the idea of merger VS staying independent, and that their views (made in a written report presented to the membership) be given significant weight in the decision making process.”
His concern, voiced in a blog “it is one thing to continue to extend our good influence, and our educational reach, as a model and a partner in education and special projects. It is something else to give up our American identity and join a one-world coffee movement. It may turn out splendidly for our members, but it may not.”
He reported that “Dan Cox added to the discussion his conviction that any decision about merger should be made by a vote of the entire membership and not just a vote of the executive committee or the Board.” Cox is president of Coffee Enterprises and a 2012 recipient of the SCAA’s lifetime achievement award.