A “Common Sense” Victory For Coffee Science in California

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“Call it a victory for science — or maybe just for common sense.” – The Seattle Times


It was a good news week for  coffee science in California.

Earlier this month, OEHHA (the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment agency) proposed a plan that would exempt coffee from Prop 65 required “cancer warning labels” in California after the most recent ruling in the ongoing legislation.

The statement was met with resounding support from scientists and coffee lovers alike.

“OEHHA’s Rulemaking is supported by both the full weight of scientific evidence and law,” wrote William “Bill” Murray, NCA President and CEO, in comments filed Aug. 30. The letter commended the decision and laid out the strong case for coffee in a scientific summary signed by Dr. Mark Corey, NCA’s Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, and Dr. Alan Leviton, Consultant to the NCA Scientific Advisory Group.

Simply put, the research speaks for itself: coffee does not cause cancer.

Then this week, in a groundbreaking announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Sacramento which emphatically set forth their support for this rule.

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Reading the Coffee Coverage: Longevity

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What’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s interesting.

The following article is based on this LinkedIn post by William (Bill) Murray, NCA President & CEO 


When it comes to coffee coverage in the media, a healthy dose of context (and common sense) is critical.

Take this week’s Daily Mail article, “How Six Cups of Coffee a Day Can Help You to Live Longer,” on new research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Let’s take a look of the story, in light of the science:

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IBM’s Coffee Delivery Drones Can Predict Your Next Cup

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The drones could read social cues and biometrics to dispatch caffeine when you need it

Because this doesn’t at all sound like the beginning of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where sentient technology withholds caffeine to control the human population, your coffee may one day be delivered by drone — before you even ask.

IBM has secured a patent for a coffee-delivering drone that reads social and biological cues to know when people will need their next caffeine pick-me-ups, reports USA Today.

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What the Latest Prop. 65 Ruling Means for Coffee Businesses

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Read the official NCA statement on the latest Prop. 65 & Coffee Decision

The following article was originally published on Daily Coffee News

By Nick Brown

In the 12 days since a California court ruled that coffee sellers in the state must post cancer warnings in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, commonly known as “Proposition 65”, mainstream media has been abuzz.

While the vast majority of reports have noted the lack of scientific evidence linking coffee to cancer, that kind of widespread publicity naturally creates more questions than answers. Such is the nature of the 24-hour news cycle, in which many people can’t afford the time to read beyond the headlines.

So as the two big Cs of coffee and cancer have shared the public stage, a third big C has swept over the audience: confusion.

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Convention Networking: A Practical Guide

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By William “Bill” Murray, President & CEO, NCA

This post was originally published on LinkedIn

For over twenty years, I worked for the motion picture industry. Networking has always been the lifeblood of Hollywood – even while it was maddeningly difficult.

Take film industry conventions.

Hollywood has a couple of typical industry conferences, but most gatherings revolve around film festivals – often in glamorous, expensive places. There’s seldom a big exhibit hall with vendors – instead, filmmakers show clips of their work in private rooms, writers “pitch” scripts in one-on-one meetings, and deals are made at unadvertised parties.

There’s a secretive, fluid mystery to everything that’s happening, and always the sense that you are missing something. That uncertainty is complemented by the chaos of autograph seekers, paparazzi, and publicists all jockeying for attention. Unless you know how to “work” a film festival, you might as well stay home.

While networking at film festivals and association conventions may seem to have little in common, there is one key aspect in which they are similar: if you plan to network at either, you’ll need to have a strategy and go prepared.

For association conventions, here’s what’s key:

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Looking Ahead: Your Business is Our Business

By William “Bill” Murray, CAE, President & CEO, NCA

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What’s ahead for your business?

As you look to the months and years to come, what are the greatest challenges you are facing, the biggest opportunities you see?

And how are you going to build the future you envision for your organization?

We’re in the midst of this very exercise here at the National Coffee Association, USA. Our current Strategic Plan was written three years ago. At that time our priority was to evolve NCA, rapidly and efficiently, and catch up with a changing world.

Our 2015-2017 plan called for us to update our infrastructure and communications (websites, newsletters, social media) and add member benefits (discount programs, Coffee Career Center, Business Directory, webinars).

Even as we were making these changes over the past three years, our day-to-day agenda grew exponentially. We took on new projects ranging from science and health issues (like last year’s review of coffee and cancer by the World Health Organization), to Federal regulatory developments (like the proposed Border Adjustment Tax).

All of which raises the question:

What’s next for the NCA?

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19 Signs of Executive-Level Leadership

By Bill Murray, NCA, CEO

See the full post on LinkedIn or visit the Coffee Career Center resource page for more leadership tips. 

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With thanks to Laura Freebairn-Smith of the Organizational Performance Group, for permission to cite her findings. 

Ensuring that the right organizational leadership is in place is a task that is so challenging that it has spawned an entire industry.

Whether you search the web or pop into an old-school brick-and-mortar bookstore, the amount of advice on offer about “being a leader” is staggering.

One of the reasons that leadership can be a challenging subject is because it pertains to human behavior. A second difficulty relates to things like stylistic differences, gaps between what is said vs. what is done, and self-promotion.

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Needle in a Haystack: A Practical Guide to Finding Your Next Job

By Bill Murray, NCA, CEO

The following is an edited post orignally published on LinkedIn

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The U.S. Department of Labor reported last month that there were 5.9 million vacant jobs in the U.S., while the rate of people quitting their jobs has been rising steadily.  Companies are hiring, and people are moving on – and up.

Unless you plan on working for one employer forever, at some point you’ll be looking for that next job.  The best time to prepare is now – especially if you aren’t actively looking.

Of course, there are endless job-hunting resources available on specific topics, like resume writing and writing a cover letter. [Ed. note: Including our recently launched Coffee Career Center.]

The key to success is not only successful execution of each step, but also having an overall strategy, much as you would for any long-term project.

Here’s a checklist of strategies, tactics, and considerations:

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Coffee Careers: What Are Internships Worth?

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Internships are critical for hands-on experience in a new profession – especially in an industry complex as coffee. Developing new skills and connections gives you a critical advantage in today’s competitive job market.

For employers, interns offer companies fresh perspectives, critical support to boost team productivity, and/or specialized talent to knock out that key project with long-term benefits. It’s also a great way to give back to the industry, cultivating future leaders through education and mentorship. [Ed. note: Check out our new Coffee Career Center for internships tailored specifically for the coffee industry.]

Here, NCA CEO (and association veteran) William (Bill) Murray shares the importance of establishing an ethical internship program, creating a mutually beneficial and rewarding experience.

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