The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) has appointed Will Young of Campos Coffee the new Vice Chair of the ACE Board.
The announcement, coinciding with the start of Brazil’s natural and pulped natural Cup of Excellence (COE) program, is the result of successful board nominations.
Will’s role will lead into the Chairman position in June 2017, taking over from Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia.
Geoff will finish his tenure as current Chair and the move on to the position of Post Chair position for two years to give the continuity necessary to steer the COE program.
“I’m honoured to be appointed this position. ACE always needs to be led by those who believe in the ethos and values behind COE – right now and into the future – and I stand behind it 100 per cent,” Will says.
Will has been an ACE board member for more than a year. He says the new ACE board has embraced passionate, hungry members whose voices want to be heard, including representatives from Japan and Europe.
“There’s so much you can achieve together when you have the right team. The team has always been solid, and I believe what we have now is one of the strongest and most diverse boards in ACE’s history,” Will says. “I’m excited to share more public cuppings, buying groups and encourage more Australian buyers to come on board and support COE. Campos Coffee has been a big supporter of the program for years. We believe in what it’s doing and its ability to reward exemplary coffee farmers in producing countries. Like I have always said, the COE program is the spearhead for specialty coffee movement at the most important of all the levels – the producing side.”
Will anticipants between 10 to 12 COE competitions will be back up and running in 2017. He says people are awakening to how special these competitions are, and to the value they hold.
“It’s a brand whose mission is pure. 2016 was a year where we held less auctions to work on upgrades to polish the programs. 2017 will see an increase back to the usual number of country auction,” Will says. “The producers appreciate both the integrity of the COE brand, and the values of our founder Susie Spindler. What Susie has created is something very special in the world and the board’s job is to preserve her values and truths in everything we do now and into the future.”
As part of his Chair position, Will hopes to achieve further transparency and work hard to develop support for COE in areas such as Burundi and Rwanda.
“I’m hopeful COE can keep getting higher and higher prices for farmers and lead the way in online auctions. It’s a great time to be a champion coffee farmer. Last year saw record prices, and we expect the same this year,” he says. “Shifting market trends means we also need to make the program more accessible to micro roasters who can’t currently afford one tonne of COE coffee, so we intend to continue breaking down the lots into smaller chunks for purchase.”
ACE is the not-for-profit governing body responsible for running the COE competitions.