Spencer Turer (Coffee Analysts), Julie O’Brien (The Coffee Trust), and Monica Walker (Walker Coffee Trading) enjoying a cupping session led by Blue Donkey Coffee at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta
Pt. 1: The Crema the Crop
Leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs from across the coffee industry came together for the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The 3-day event was themed “Coffee at the Crossroads” and sponsored by Community Coffee, which is currently celebrating its centennial anniversary as a family-owned company.
From networking events to specialty coffee education, the jam-packed (and highly caffeinated) conference offered something for everyone.
Here, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite moments, with more to come in the weeks ahead.
(If you attended #NCA19 and want to share what you’ve learned, share a comment below or tag @nationalcoffeeusa in your photos!)
1. Monica and Carl Walker, Walker Coffee Trading, awarded NCA Volunteer(s) of the Year Award
Carl and Monica Walker at the 2018 NCA Coffee Gives Back Day of Service in New Orleans
Monica and Carl Walker’s family company, Walker Coffee Trading in Houston, Texas, is about many things – but at its core are long term relationships they cultivate with friends and family, customers and suppliers.
This spirit of community and commitment shines through in everything they do.
2. The Coffee Trust named NCA Origin Charity of the Year
The Coffee Trust works in the war-devastated Ixil region of Guatemala to build prosperous and empowered coffee-growing communities.
The NCA Coffee Gives Back Program aims to shine a spotlight on the organizations dedicated to communities at origin, because we believe that amplifying these stories is important for the entire industry. And in her acceptance remarks, Julie O’Brien, The Coffee Trust Board President, shared that as a result of this recognition, the organization received an additional grant from one of their donors to further fund their work.
This year’s Award finalists – meriting special mention – were Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc. and Strategies for International Development.
3. Sustainability Conversation – and Collaboration
The coffee community is committed to building a brighter future for the entire supply chain. And the best way to move forward is together.
To help facilitate cooperation and collaboration across the industry, Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge held an all-stakeholder meeting proceeding the NCA Convention (expect more news coming out of that soon!)
Working pre-competitively with a growing alliance of organizations across the sector, the SCC can help coffee companies of all sizes get involved, see a measurable impact, and move towards true sustainability.
“The biggest opportunity we have [as an industry] is collective action,” said Miguel Zamora, Director of Market Engagement, Rainforest Alliance, during his breakout session on labor concerns at origin. “Pre-collaboration makes you more effective.”
Learn more about joining the Sustainable Coffee Challenge
Stay tuned – next week we’ll share insights from the new NCDT, the NCA Day of Service, and behind the scenes at the SLC Coffee Science Fair!