By Bill Murray, President, NCA
It’s been an exciting year here at the National Coffee Association – and for the entire industry.
In the spirit of September’s new beginnings, I’d like to share a quick recap of the coffee industry issues we’ve been working on at the NCA:
Coffee and Cancer.
When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared meat to be a carcinogen last year, this announcement led to double-digit sales declines. But coffee is different than meat. And in the past decade since WHO last reviewed coffee, there has been mounting evidence on the potential health benefits of coffee – which we’ve closely reviewed.
The outcome WHO’s review of coffee this summer? For the first time ever, the agency improved the cancer/health classification of a food or beverage. It was exciting to participate on behalf of our members in the WHO review process and subsequent coverage.
The NCA’s unprecedented Economic Impact of the Coffee Industry study measures the full scope of the U.S. coffee economy, showing U.S. regulators the importance of our industry.
For the first time ever, we’ve added information to our website about caffeine for consumers, and our new Coffee and Me health microsite. This is especially important as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to evaluate caffeine consumption, and consider mandatory consumer advisories or labelling obligations.
Forced and Involuntary Labor
Earlier this year, President Obama signed the U.S. Trade Enforcement and Trade Facilitation Act. In short, this law allows for the seizure of coffee that was produced using forced or involuntary labor. The NCA is providing accurate, factual information about compliance to members, and is working with U.S. Government officials to develop industry protocols.
We’re monitoring changes to FDA requirements for nutritional labeling of packaged coffee. This ongoing issue relates to the standard serving size and the calculation of certain nutrients in coffee.
The NCA updated members on the late-breaking Federal GMO legislation – an example of the “intelligence and early warning” function the NCA provides, tailored specifically for coffee.
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Sweeping new food safety legislation has completely changed the U.S. approach to food safety, with disease prevention a priority vs. recalls and other after-the-fact remedies. The NCA made a number of submissions to the U.S. government to shape this legislation, and has provided guidance to members (both written and in the form of a webinar, available on-demand as a member benefit).
We will also be offering our first coffee-focused FSMA Training Seminar in October, preceding the NCA 2016 Coffee Summit.
In partnership with the SCAA, we’ll be launching a coffee job board in November – stay tuned!
Recent NCA webinars covered single serve, Millennials, regulatory issues, food service, and market outlooks. (On-demand playback is free for NCA members!)
We’ve created an online portal for coffee industry professionals to get involved with NCA community – whether you are interested in contributing a guest blog post or sponsoring an event.
There’s more, but most importantly I just want to say “thank you” to our members. We can’t serve and protect the industry without your support. We not only appreciate your dues, but we make your dues work hard: For every $1 in dues we earn, we generate more than $1 in additional non-dues income.
If you have questions about NCA benefits, the new website, or membership, please contact Thrisha Andrews at 212-766-4007, or send us a note. And you can reach me directly at email@example.com.