The Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) decision to host a World Coffee Event in Dubai in 2018 and the introduction of the “Deferred Candidacy Policy” come up well short of what the industry needs and deserves.
Our hope was that the SCA would create transparent standards that ensure the LGBTQ community and everyone involved—whether competing, administering, or supporting the event—may safely participate in the countries in which SCA events are held. Its recent decision, and communication of the decision, failed to accomplish this goal.
Upon hearing the announcement, we reached out to the SCA organization, SCA staff, and local coffee communities to better understand different perspectives regarding this issue. Through these conversations, we quickly recognized the need for direct dialogue between the SCA and the coffee communities it serves. We contacted the SCA and offered to host meetings where members of the SCA team could listen and participate in conversations with association members.
Counter Culture has scheduled three conversations with SCA:
- Monday, November 20, at 7:00 p.m. local time in our New York Training Center located at 376 Broome Street.
- Monday, November 20, at 7:00 p.m. local time in our Emeryville Training Center located at 1329 64th Street.
- Tuesday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m. local time in Durham at our headquarters located at 812 Mallard Avenue.
Cindy Ludviksen, managing director of World Coffee Events, has confirmed her attendance at the meetings in New York and Durham.
Ric Rhinehart, executive director of SCA, will be at the meeting in Emeryville.
We’re encouraged by the other “town hall” meetings that have taken place, and we will respect the decisions other members of the coffee community make regarding this situation. We will determine our longer-term engagement and membership with the SCA based on the association’s forthcoming actions and communications.
By working together, we are hopeful that this situation can be resolved in such a way that inspires all members of our community and sets a course for a stronger, more united industry.