The ICO and SCA join forces

Earlier this month, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) announced a new collaboration with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today at the ICO headquarters in London, UK. This landmark agreement signifies a shared commitment to advancing global coffee industry cooperation and reaching new heights in specialty coffee sustainability and education.

Having collaborated on numerous initiatives over the years, the SCA and ICO, bound by this MoU, aim to harness their combined outreach and expertise. This dynamic partnership sets out to design and implement interventions that will benefit coffee stakeholders worldwide through knowledge-sharing, education, and capacity building. Under the MoU, both organizations pledge to create training programs and foster skill development across diverse segments of the coffee value chain — from production and trade to roasting, brewing, and preparation methods.

Notably, the MoU outlines a joint commitment to expanding market promotion and encouraging the consumption of high-quality coffee. The SCA and ICO are united in their mission to facilitate constructive dialogue, linking ICO Members, industry experts, and coffee professionals. This collaboration and the programs to follow will actively promote sustainable practices and will provide increased visibility in specialty markets, with an emphasis on attributes, consuming markets, communication, and skill building. This program aims to empower producer organizations to access specialty coffee and embrace higher value trading models through the use of the SCA Coffee Value Assessment and its tools.

This agreement reflects the dedication of the Specialty Coffee Association to make coffee a thriving equitable and sustainable activity for the entire value chain, in tandem with the International Coffee Organization.

On this partnership, Vanúsia Nogueira, executive director of the ICO stated, “Promoting comprehensive training is not just a necessity; it is one of the most important elements to fuel the future of the coffee sector. Education and skills development are the keys to unlocking the full potential of our industry, ensuring a robust foundation for sustainable growth, fostering innovation, and empowering every actor in the value chain, from bean to cup. The specialty coffee segment is synonymous with quality and excellence, and I am confident that many stakeholders, especially in coffee producing countries, will benefit from this important partnership with SCA.”

Yannis Apostolopoulos, chief executive officer of the SCA added, “[This] signature marks a significant stride towards sustainability by creating new opportunities for knowledge transfer across the coffee sector. The SCA is committed to supporting institutions, organizations, and platforms in the coffee sector who are dedicated to building an equitable and sustainable industry, and the association believes that collaborative and diverse approaches, like this partnership with the ICO, will play a crucial role in making the rewards of the specialty coffee segment accessible worldwide.”

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