The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has announced that it is launching an initiative to address the coffee price crisis.
The association has also announced that it has appointed a new Executive Director to replace Ric Rhinehart, who is stepping down in order to lead the new crisis response effort.
The SCA said the aim of the new initiative was to understand and address the price crisis affecting coffee farmers which, it said, also threatens the supply chain as a whole.
Mr Rhinehart will be replaced as Executive Director of the association 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,” said the SCA. “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.”
The SCA Board of Directors recently directed staff to explore options to focus additional resources to understanding and addressing the issue. To that end, SCA is allocating substantial resources, both human and financial, to expanding its role and response to the crisis.
In its first year, the Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative will aim to increase funding and resources allocated to better understanding the topic; 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; and outline alternative economic models for the specialty coffee trade and provide a meaningful way for companies to address risks in the supply chain.