COE, ACE and SCA form partnership

Cup of Excellence (CoE) and the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) announced a partnership with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) at the World of Coffee Copenhagen trade show on 27 June. This collaboration aims to unify the approach to defining and appreciating top-quality specialty coffees, ushering in a new era for the industry.

Historically, CoE, ACE, and SCA have operated independently, occasionally collaborating on smaller projects. This formal partnership, established via the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), brings together their unique strengths to create a significant impact on coffee producers, the industry, and consumers. The SCA confirmed that this is not a merger, simply a new strategic partnership.

Erwin Mierisch, executive director of Cup of Excellence and Alliance for Coffee Excellence, emphasised the partnership’s importance: “For too many years our organizations have walked separate paths. This long-awaited partnership is just the beginning of the positive impact that is expected for farmers, producing countries and roasters searching for high quality. From education to quality analysis to outreach and information – sharing huge opportunities abound to drive specialty coffee in the right direction.”

The initial focus will be to understand how the two organizations can integrate the descriptive and scoring portions of the Coffee Value Assessment (CVA) analysis protocol into the Cup of Excellence competition structure. CoE professional head judges and staff, along with the SCA technical team, will jointly assess, refine, and adapt the CVA form to the competition, ensuring fair and impartial judging and sensory analysis of competition and auctioned coffees.

Education and cupper certification will also be pivotal. The partnership aims to enhance the skills and recognition of in-country cuppers, whose expertise is crucial to the foundation of specialty coffees.

Yannis Apostolopoulos, CEO of the Specialty Coffee Association, stated, “This partnership goes beyond improving quality assessment; it aims to enhance the entire coffee ecosystem. By collaborating and sharing expertise, we will set new standards that benefit everyone from producers to consumers, ultimately making coffee better for all.”

The World of Coffee Copenhagen event, where the signing took place, served as an ideal backdrop for this announcement. The synergy between the organizations promises to bring significant positive changes to the industry, showcasing award-winning coffees and the remarkable work of CoE and ACE in discovering and rewarding producers.

Each organization operates with a mission to create positive change within the coffee industry. SCA’s extensive networking and industry outreach, combined with ACE and CoE’s focus on coffee producers and quality, form a powerful alliance poised to drive positive change.

For more information on how this partnership will work and how to get involved in the next stage visit:

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