11 SCAA past Presidents urge SCEXIT vote

Elevenof the 38 past presidents of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) have put their name to an open letter urging members to vote against unification with their European counterpart, decrying the move as “21st century socialist colonialism”. The letter, which is authored by the SCAA’s founding President, Donald Schoenholt, warns SCAA members that, given they number 2,100 to the SCAE’s 4,500, they shall effectively be giving over control of their organisation to their European counterparts. “Speaking plainly, there will be no more SCAA,” Schoenholt writes. “It will be replaced by something different, something foreign.” The letter makes a point of complimenting the SCAE as a standalone organisation, and advocates the continuation of a close relationship between the two Associations. “We should work together with our sister organizations on initiatives throughout the world not just to promote specialty coffee, but as an ally in the good fight against natural enemies of best quality coffee: climatic conditions, pests and diseases, and the economic fragility of farming families,” Schoenholt writes. However, he goes on to warn that unification risks overriding the SCAA’s American values: “Among some of the good attributes that are claimed for unification is its collective benefit,” Schoenholt writes. “That doesn’t sound American to us. It has an unfamiliar alien ring to it. Down what dark road are we being led?” Schoenholt points out that there are 15 trade organisations that have been founded according to the SCAA model. “We should all thank them for their efforts, and support and we should applaud and support their successes in return. We should continue to support joint venture programs and our own initiatives in lands outside our borders.” The other past Presidents who have signed the letter are:
Steve Colten (SCAA President 2002-2003); Dan Cox (1984, 85, 86); David Dallis (1994-95); Leonor Gavina-Valls (1985); Paul Katzeff (1984, 2000-01), Becky McKinnon (1998-99), Danny O’Neill (2001-02), Grady Saunders (1993-94); Linda Smithers (1997-98); and Gary Talboy (1987-88). Members of the SCAA have until 5 August to cast their vote. The SCAE voted in favour of the move in May. The full letter can be found on the website of Schoenholt’s Gillies Coffee here.

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