SCA Announces “Deferred Candidacy Policy” for Competitors at World Championships

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has announced a new “Deferred Candidacy policy” for international coffee competitions. The policy comes following an outpouring of concerns raised by specialty coffee professionals around the world over hosting the 2018 World Coffee Roasting Championship, World Cup Tasters Championship and World Brewers Cup in Dubai, a nation with well-known human rights violations and LGBTQIA abuses.

The SCA’s decision to host World Barista Championships in Dubai in 2018 was announced in early September and their decision to temporarily suspend planning around Dubai immediately followed pursuant to concerns around inclusivity and the safety of world championship competitors. In the announcement on its website, the SCA stated, “Planning for the world championship events taking place in Dubai in 2018 will now resume with this new policy in place.”

Per the SCA, “this policy is designed to protect competitors who may be prevented from participating in a world championship event due to nationality, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity/orientation, health, bereavement, or force majeure.”

The SCA has committed to holding competitions in China, Brazil, Dubai, and other countries around the world. In every case, one or more national competitors may be limited or prohibited from participation.

In its announcement, the SCA stated, “we recognize the full spectrum of limitations that may exist for competitors and vow to honour the opportunity that each competitor has earned to represent their country at the international level. The resolution we on the SCA Board have adopted is designed to acknowledge and respect a competitor’s inability to travel to a country while enabling them to keep their hard-earned opportunity to compete.”

Under the new policy, national champions who have a qualifying circumstance that limits or prohibits them from participating may request to defer their world championship candidacy to the following year. National Bodies whose candidate’s deferment request is approved by the world championships committee of the WCE Events Advisory Council will be supported by a subsidy to cover additional travel expenses, should they occur.

This new policy takes effect immediately, beginning with the world championships taking place in Seoul this month and covering all upcoming WCE events listed below. The SCA’s 2018 international event roster includes 2018 World Coffee Events competitions in the UAE, China, Brazil and The Netherlands.

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