Members of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAE) have paved the way for unification with the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE), with 62 per cent voting in favour of the proposed move.
The vote comes after a majority of SCAE members endorsed the proposal in their own ballot in May. Voting for SCAA members closed on 5 August, with 56 per cent of members making their vote count, while 44 per cent didn’t.
According to a statement from the SCAA, the two organisations will remain separate until 2017 as they work through the process of unification.
“Over the remainder of 2016 a great deal of planning and prep work will continue to happen with the Board, other volunteer leadership and staff to drive us forward in the right direction, however for the most part many programs and benefits will not change during this time period,” the statement reads. “We will continue to be two separate organisations through the remainder of the year as much focus is put on infrastructure and planning for a shared future. However, we remain fully committed to open lines of communication with our members, and ensuring that members are the first to know as next steps are taken. When something important is about to happen, you will be the first to know.”
Some of the SCAA’ immediate goals include outlining achievements and milestones in combining the education programs into one single, harmonious, global education program; conducting new research to examine and better understand coffee science; advancing sustainability efforts; creating new opportunities for member engagement as it operationalises new bylaws and strategic plans; multi-cultural leadership and opportunities for development; updates to membership structure to simplify, streamline, and deliver better value to members; and more.
“We can’t tell you how excited we are to share this moment in our association’s history with each of you. Thank you for supporting this vision of a better future for all people in the specialty coffee industry,” the statement said.
More information about the unification process can be found here.
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