Onwards and upwards
As the year draws to a close and a new one begins, NZSCA’s Karla Gichard reflects on industry highlights and ways to sustain New Zealand’s position as a leading coffee country.
The New Zealand coffee industry is continuing to evolve, with growth in many sectors of our industry.
The number of roasters continues to expand, almost approaching 300 across New Zealand, from small, home-based operations to well-established multi-site roasters.
This is certainly a significant number, especially given the population of New Zealand is only 4.4 million people. And, with so many roasters, we have undeniably one of the highest roaster/population ratios in the world with a roaster for approximately every 15,000 people. We are truly a nation of coffee lovers.
Our industry is also fortunate in experiencing growth in the number of green bean importers. This growth offers greater diversity in the sourcing and origins available, and easier accessibility to a wider range of green beans throughout the market, particularly for smaller roasters.
While we continue to see growth, our industry has some of the least quantifiable research available and, as a result, the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association (NZSCA) has committed to undertaking a nationwide survey to better understand the industry in which we operate.
A recent report from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has also inspired our approach to collect detailed information from members, for the benefit of the industry and our wider community.
The project is underway and we expect to be contacting New Zealand roasters early 2016 to collect data, and ensure we can report findings at our 2016 Annual General Meeting.
The NZSCA is also committing significant time and effort into further development of our training program, which is focused on developing barista skills and engaging with our up-and-coming baristas. This commitment will ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry, and continue to share our vision that choosing barista for a career can be truly rewarding and satisfying.
Alignment to the SCAA certification program also provides baristas the opportunity to achieve a credible certification. It is recognised internationally, and opens doors around the world.
Career progression also expands to World Coffee Events (WCE) Judge Certification. We’re proud to see outstanding representation from New Zealand industry people on the world stage.
Emma Markland-Webster will be facilitating the newly expanded WCE Judge Certification during a two-day test in Auckland in late January 2016. This test will offer participants the opportunity to certify for judging the World Barista Championship, World Latte Art Championship, World Brewers Cup, World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, World Roasters Championship, and the Cezve/Ibrik Championship.
To attend this high calibre event, participants must possess judging experience in at least two national level competitions, or one world championship.
Registrations are open now on the NZSCA website at: www.nzcra.org.nz
2015 has been a year of development for the New Zealand coffee industry. As we head into 2016 I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.