NCA Awards: Call for Nominees

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As summer winds down, it’s time to kick off NCA’s 2018 volunteer recognition program. This year we presented the 2017 awards – Lifetime Achievement, Volunteer of the Year, and Honorary Lifetime Membership – to exceptional NCA volunteers who made major contributions to the association and the U.S. coffee industry.

It’s now time to nominate 2018’s honorees. Chances are, you’ve worked with NCA volunteers who deserve special recognition. Please don’t let their contributions go unrecognized! Submit your nominations today, before we reach the September 15 deadline.

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Hurricane Harvey: How You Can Help

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Hurricane Harvey continues to batter the Gulf with heavy rain and historic flooding, as the most powerful storm to hit the mainland U.S. in over a decade. More than 33,000 people were in shelters as of Thursday, according to the American Red Cross.

And the devastation isn’t over yet. An estimated 12 million people will be directly affected as the storm heads from Texas into Louisiana. The states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky also forecast to see rain and potential flooding over the next few days.

“Our neighbors all across the country reached out to NYC after 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy. We’ll never forget their kindness, especially now during their time of need,” says William M. Murray, CEO, NCA. “We will continue to keep the people affected by Harvey in our thoughts, today and during the recovery ahead. And we encourage everyone to help in whatever ways they can, no matter how small.”

The coffee community’s spirit of support and generosity is needed now more than ever. Make your donation to the Red Cross now, and share additional suggestions in the comments below.

 

Where The Troops Go, We Go

The following is a guest post submitted to The First Pull. See our guest post guidelines

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By Thomas Jastermsky, Holy Joe’s Café

For the troops out in the field, even just a cup of coffee can bring the taste of home. Having a moment of down time with fellow active duty military personnel can help alleviate stress and build camaraderie.

Since 2006, Holy Joe’s Café has been sending free coffee and supplies to deployed U.S. military chaplains on military bases around the world. Here, anyone on the base  from NATO medical teams to Special Operating Forces  can stop in to relax and share in a taste of home. All are welcome, no matter their faith or background.

“Every time they have a cup of coffee, they are reminded that somebody cares about them. Even though I may only walk through the unit a couple times a month, the Chaplains Corps presence is felt on a daily basis, which is huge,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Keith Manry, 36th Wing chaplain.

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A Producer’s Perspective: Challenges Across the Coffee Value Chain

Editor’s note: Next month, the global coffee industry will gather in Medellin for the World Coffee Producers Forum to explore how to strengthen farmers, discussing sustainability, labor, managing price volatility, and improving productivity and yields.  Here, Frederick Kawuma, Secretary General of the Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO), sets the stage for these discussions by providing an overview from the producers’ perspective.

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Coffee farmer Feleke Dukamo checks the latest coffee prices. Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Frederick Kawuma, Secretary General of the Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO)

There has recently been a spate of studies analyzing the income of coffee farmers. The first thing that becomes evident is that the income from coffee farming varies depending on the country, and even the region within the country, where the studies have been done.

The second thing that becomes evident is that the income from coffee farming depends on the price the farmer gets for his coffee, which depends on “the market.”

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Data Snapshot: Coffee Farmer Income

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Photo courtesy of Fairtrade International

via Fairtrade America

Around 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by 17.7 million small-scale coffee farmers. And while the coffee industry aims to be a sustainability leader, the fact is that many farmers continue to struggle to make ends meet and support their families.

New research finds that the future of coffee depends on adequate income for farmers. A pilot study by Fairtrade International and True Price shows that despite sustainability pledges in the coffee sector, many coffee farmers struggle to make ends meet.

Key findings from the report include: 

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NCA Speaks Out Against Seattle Beverage Tax

“As a regressive tax borne largely by consumers, the proposal can hurt […] hundreds of independent roasters, coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, and suppliers. Aimed at promoting a healthy diet, the tax would have the opposite effect if applied to coffee.”  – William M. Murray, CEO, NCA 

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The Seattle City Council will vote on introducing a “soda tax” in the city on Monday. The measure would put a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, and would impact coffee as collateral damage. Furthermore, small businesses would be disproportionately affected.

The National Coffee Association has submitted the following letter to the City Council to express the industry’s strong position on how the tax would severely impact the local coffee economy and that coffee should be exempt should any soda tax be ratified.

Read the full NCA comment letter.

In the News

Is Seattle’s proposed soda tax also a tax on sugary lattes?

Take Action

Tell the Seattle city council that levying a soda tax on coffee would have unintended and unanticipated consequences for the coffee industry and local businesses. Send an email to  council@seattle.gov, or call 206-684-8888.

Comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at info@ncausa.org.

 

 

My First NCA Event

By Rocky Rhodes, International Coffee Consulting

[Ed. note: The following is an unsolicited post sharing the author’s experiences at the NCA Annual Convention 2017 in Austin, TX. Learn more about contributing a guest post to The First Pull]

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I have been in the coffee industry for 21 years now. I feel I am pretty well versed in most things ‘coffee.’ That was until I went to the National Coffee Association Convention.

The attendees are made up of multi-generational coffee companies that have survived and thrived for 50, 60 – even over 100 years. I knew I had a lot to learn at this event.

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