IWCA at the 31st Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Annual Convention, Boston, April 2019.

IWCA at the 31st Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Annual Convention, Boston, April 2019.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) organized the 31st Annual Convention at Boston Parkview Hotel from 10th and 11th April 2019. Thereafter, the Convention and exhibition held from 12th to 15th April 2019 at the Boston Convention Centre. This is an annual networking event where specialty coffee professionals get inspired to learn, grow and collaborate for the betterment of the specialty coffee industry. The SCAA has been at the forefront in developing and promoting specialty coffee and is committed to meeting the challenges of rapidly changing industry by setting and maintaining standards, expanding professional certification programs, conducting industry specific research and providing opportunities to connect exchange and work together so that the industry continues to thrive.

IWCA Participation: From Uganda, IWCA Uganda Chapter President Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko and Mrs. Rose Kato, IWCA Uganda Chapter Board Member ably represented the IWCA Uganda Chapter. In addition, Ms. Teopista Nakkungu, the IWCA Uganda Chapter Coordinator; Ms.  Annet Nyakaisiki, a Barrister and Fellow; Ms. Lydia Namutebi, an IWCA Uganda Chapter Member representing Kawacom were also in attendance. During the event, several informative, thematic presentations were made on a range of subjects, notably on climate change.

It was emphasized that when devising means of adaptation, restoring of productive land is crucial. These emphasized the need for making serious provisioning for climate-smart approaches, including restoration, renovation and reforestation. The measures require integration of activities mainly on land restoration, farm renovation, climate smart agriculture, technical validation and economic value. Farmers need to adapt their production systems to the new climatic conditions where the land they is located. Continuous climatic shocks and highly variable weather conditions have long term effects that carry over from one season to another. There is a direct impact through destruction of fields (landslides and floods) and an indirect impact where farmers are left indebted, trapped in poverty and hence unable to invest or reinvest in production.

Key Take-aways: The key takeaways included rehabilitation and renovation, quality and consistence for sustainability of the coffee sector, consciousness on optimizing yield per hectare, meaningful community involvement, and food insecurity as a major threat to sustainability of livelihoods of the coffee farmers. Please contact the Secretariat for details.

Meeting the Coffee Consumers:

On 14 June, the IWCA team organised a trip to Portland, Maine, in which Chapter Members from Guatemala, Brazil, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States and Uganda participated. This was a very informative and enlightening trip that provided participants with the opportunity to directly interact with coffee consumers.

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