British Coffee Association appoints new executive director

The British Coffee Association (BCA) has announced Paul Rooke as the organisation’s new executive director. Appointed by the association’s Board, Rooke will report to the current BCA Chair, Thomas Blackwall.

Rooke joins the BCA following 25 years at the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) where he held the position of head of policy and external relations. His new leadership appointment comes at a crucial time for the UK coffee industry as the deepening impacts of Covid-19 are felt and as Brexit negotiations start to shape future trade, tariffs and labour movement and environmental policy continues to shape the UK’s circular economy and infrastructure.

Commenting on his appointment, Rooke said, “The coffee industry is, like many other sectors, facing a period of massive upheaval and business uncertainty from Covid-19. Coffee is an everyday part of so many peoples’ lives and we will be looking to ensure its production and availability to customers can be maintained during this very difficult period and those members whose businesses are facing immense pressure can get some respite from the measures Government is introducing.

“Whilst I am of course excited to be joining the UK coffee industry, we recognise that there is an immediate need to support our members, and UK coffee, through this crisis.”

2020 will also see several key government resources and waste consultations on the environment and packaging, along with ongoing work for the BCA around wider sustainability issues such as improving the resilience of coffee farmers and driving responsible sourcing practices across its supply chains.

At the start of the year, the BCA Board developed an ambitious set of new objectives and goals for the association that will provide new routes to growth, expand capabilities and continually improve the relevance of the association for its members. These renewed objectives will be pivotal to Rooke’s role in moving the organisation forward.

BCA chair, Thomas Blackwall, commented, “Paul’s extensive background working in policy and external affairs for wider trade associations will be hugely beneficial for the BCA, we couldn’t be happier that he has accepted the role.

“With Paul coming on board we will start to see the BCA go through a rapid phase of expanding capability, building capacity and becoming an even stronger voice for the UK coffee industry. This is even more important given the business impacts from the coronavirus crisis and in prioritising the health, safety, and wellbeing of people working throughout the coffee sector.”

Rooke will report into the BCA chair and board and will work closely with the heads of the BCA Committees, notably across Technical & Regulatory, Sustainability, Communications, and Trade & Logistics.

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