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SCA Issues Apology; Plans to Attend Meetings & Events to Discuss DC Policy

The Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) 9 November announcement of their Deferred Candidacy policy, created an uproar in the global special coffee community. On 18 November, via a World Coffee Events bulletin, the SCA Board of Directors issued an apology for the ambiguity surrounding the Deferred Candidacy policy and thanked the coffee community for its comments and feedback. The statement read as follows:

“The SCA Board of Directors have heard a variety of reactions from our members and other stakeholders. Many have been critical. We have listened to and read your comments, and we recognize that we did not communicate our intention clearly and were not as thoughtful as we should have been to the concerns of members. For that we apologize. We want to be clear that the policy document is still being written, it is not yet defined in detail, and we are open to discussion and suggestions.”

A spokesperson for the SCA says that the “basics are out there but the policy has not been ironed out yet because we are still accepting feedback from members and competitors. We want members and competitors to tell us their concerns, so we can safeguard privacy and make things as easy as possible for competitors where there may be barriers to entry.”

Member-organized, local town hall events have been scheduled in the United States and the United Kingdom to discuss the Deferred Candidacy policy. The SCA announced that members of its Board and its Executive team will join these conversations when invited and will aim to provide transparency in how decisions are made.

SCA Board and Executive team members plan to attend the following events to listen and answer any questions:

Monday, 20 November
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Joe Coffee, 1845 Walnut St, 7:00pm
Los Angeles, California: Cutie’s Coffee, 710 N Heliotrope Drive, 7:00pm

Tuesday, 21 November
Houston: A 2nd Cup, 1111 E 11th St, 4:00pm
Denver, Copper Door Roasters, 900 W 1st Ave #180, 6:00pm

For members who are unable to attend a local town hall event and want to participate in a live dialogue with SCA, the association will be hosting interactive town halls online on the following dates:

• Wednesday, 22 November, 8am PST/4pm GMT
• Wednesday, 29 November, 7am PST/3pm GMT

The recordings will be available at www.scanews.coffee following each event.

The SCA also announced that staff and members of the Board will continue collecting feedback at these meetings and via email (dcpolicy@worldcoffeeevents.org) in order to consider all viewpoints as they begin working on the new vetting process for future events.

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