Yannis Apostolopoulos, CEO of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has announced that the United States Coffee Championships (USCC), that was set to run as part of its 2021 Specialty Coffee Expo, will be postponed to 2022. However, the expo will go ahead as scheduled.
Apostolopoulos says they have made this decision based on feedback from the US Chapter and USCC Committee.
“On their request, we will be postponing the 2021 US Coffee in Good Spirits, US Cup Tasters, and US Roaster Championships, as well as the US Latte Art Competition until 2022,” he says. “For those of you involved in the USCC, our team will be in touch very shortly.”
The SCA will also provide updated information related to COVID-safety, hotels, FAQ’s and other show information shortly.
As part of this announcement, the SCA has also said it will donate 50 per cent of all attendee revenue to New Orleans coffee businesses to help the city rebuild after Hurricane Ida.
“[The] Expo provides huge value to our industry, but we are determined to make sure it brings value to the city of New Orleans, and to its wonderful coffee community,” says Apostolopoulos.
“Our plan to contribute 50 per cent of attendee revenue will require help from local and national partners to help us identify the best way to administer this support. If you’re interested in helping or know of someone who can help – please get in touch.”
Apostolopoulos says SCA is committed to putting on the best event so that the coffee industry can restart, reconnect, and rebuild.
“Many coffee companies rely on Expo for their businesses. This is especially true for producers, importers, exporters, manufacturers and allied businesses around the world,” says Apostolopoulos.
“This is the main reason we do a trade show – we’re using our convening power to bring buyers and sellers together, business to business, person to person. This has enormous value and these companies need this.”
Apostolopoulos says the building where the expo will be hosted has only sustained light damage, which has been repaired.
“Additionally, the city wants us there and has assured us it’s safe. We are talking to the city of New Orleans every day, as well as the convention centre and have been assured it’s safe and will be ready,” he says.
“We carefully assessed the financial risk involved with this decision. [The] Expo is the largest specialty coffee event in North America, and we have been in contracts since 2016.”
The SCA says it has carefully assessed the risk to the events fundamental values and mission when making this decision.
“These have not been easy decisions and we trust everyone will make the best judgement for themselves. We are committed to putting on the best event we possibly can so our industry can reconnect, rebuild and restart,” says Apostolopoulos.
For other attendees’ questions, the SCA can be contacted on the expo website, or watch Apostolopoulos’ announcement below.