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It is unfortunate that SCA has positioned itself such that it can no longer serve the American trade as envisioned by SCAA’s Founding Fathers. I believe this was unintentional. The membership was led down a mistaken path. Today the SCA is controlled by folks who do not share our sensibilities, culture and history, and who have focused the association’s attention, efforts and resources on the other side of Oceans.

As it is our child, SCA can never be our enemy. It is, to paraphrase Genesis, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. We should not, and for my part, I cannot forsake SCA, and yet I am forced by circumstance, and the notice of a friend, Steve Colten, to understand that my concerns of 2016 have, sadly, borne fruit. SCA has turned its back on the American trade members that gave it life, and bought its success at the expense of their intelligence, innovation, hard work, and hard-earned dollars.

For two years after the 2016 consolidation vote, there was no mention of anything American at SCA. All eyes faced east. In January of this year SCA announced that there would be a USA chapter of the organization. The idea of an American “chapter” provoked a feeling akin to being offered a ride in a great car that was stolen from us last week.

The SCA afterthought of an American SCA Chapter does not fill that need for a fraternity that strove to create an industry, in its own image, by hard won knowledge and financial resources, only to see it first stripped of its democratic By-laws, and election system, and then it’s openness. The final indignity was to have the association taken away and given to others by folks we thought of as kin, and then to be offered a “chapter”. This is just plain wrong, and in bad taste to boot.

It is time for a new American association option for North, Central and South American tradespeople.

Besides the theater of throwing coffee into the Charles from the deck of the Boston Tea Party Ship, there are things to be done to get a new organization operational.

FELLOW TRADESPEOPLE! It is time for you to take action in your own defense. Bring a coffee friend; Thursday April 11, 2019, 1:00 PM, Constitution Room, The Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Lane, Boston Massachusetts, hosted by Coffee Enterprises, Hinesburg Vermont. This is an important fight for independence, and it yearns for more hands, and voices to be raised. We will all benefit from the ensuing discussion and debate of new ideas.

A new trade association is a tall order. Any effort to build a new congress of coffee people on these shores will require both a herculean, and a generational effort, with a diverse leadership including, as in 1983, all participant trade segments with skin in the game, and all age groups in the trade wholeheartedly committed to participate in the effort. It is particularly important that young trade members be anxious to take leadership roles in a new trade association, to insure the posterity of the trade it supports. The new organization has to represent a united effort of the faithful, to bring democracy, openness, fairness, and an economically reachable opportunity to participate to the largest possible number of its members.

I apologize for jarring you back into thinking about the future of your trade, particularly those of you who have fought the good fight, have built successful businesses, and thought start-up struggles were behind you. The thing is, the trade needs the experience, and involvement, of all hands right now. The gallant Lawrence’s cry, “Don’t give up the ship!” rings true. Don’t abandon the cause of good coffee in America.

With Genuine good wishes for the health, and prosperity of each and every one of you, and your families, I leave you with the thought that Boston is a good place to start a revolution.



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