SCA Announces 2020 Sustainability Award Winners

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has announced Las Manos del Café, Cooperative Coffees, and Dr. Timothy Schilling as the winners of its 2020 SCA Sustainability Awards.

In the Project, Business Model, and Sustainability Champion categories, respectively, the winners will be recognised in a digital version of Re:co Symposium on 16 July from 11:15 pacific standard time.

The awards for Project and Business Model recognise outstanding work in the field of sustainability in the coffee industry. The Sustainability Champion award recognises the work done by an individual in pursuit of a sustainable specialty coffee sector throughout their career. The 2020 Sustainability Award is sponsored by Farmer Brothers.

Las Manos del Café, a project by RGC Coffee, encourages a dwindling labour force to actively participate in coffee production. Its main objective is to meet the needs of farmworkers, producers, and local organisations, while identifying alternatives to make employment within the coffee industry more socially viable.

Angela Pelaez, Sustainability Manager for RGC, will accept the Project award.

Cooperative Coffees is an importer of Fair Trade and organic coffee, committed to improving the livelihood of small-scale coffee farmers, providing services to its members, and creating connections that have regenerative and sustainable impact. Today, Cooperative Coffees has 23 members throughout North America and partners with 54 producer organisations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Ed Canty, General Manager of Cooperative Coffees, will accept the Business Model award.

Sustainability Champion Dr. Timothy Schilling is the Founder, European President, and former CEO of World Coffee Research.

The SCA says Dr. Schilling’s work as the leader of two USAID programs to generate food security and increased incomes for widows and orphans in post-genocide in Rwanda, and his creation of the world's first global, collaborative R&D organisation for coffee, comprise one of the most compelling records of contribution to food security and increased livelihoods in coffee-producing nations by any one individual of this era.

The selection process for the 2020 Sustainability Awards was led by a committee of staff and volunteers in the SCA Sustainability Department, and the winners were chosen by individual votes from the committee’s members.

“The growth in applications to the SCA’s sustainability awards — this year there were more than 70 — reflects the specialty coffee community’s increasing engagement in sustainability,” SCA Chief Sustainability and Knowledge Development Officer Kim Elena Ionescu says.

“This year’s winners have all demonstrated tenacity in the face of obstacles and doubts, and they are inspiring examples of what is possible with a powerful combination of vision, persistence, and collaboration.”

For more information about the ceremony and Re:co Symposium, visit

Image: Las Manos del Café

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