Why did you become a member of the National Coffee Association (NCA)?
We joined because NCA is the leading trade association for the U.S. coffee market. NCA members are comprised of organizations from across the industry. NCA is an advocate for the entire coffee industry, an educator who leads the industry in market intelligence and a conduit for networking with industry peers to address key industry issues.
A pound of wholesale arabica coffee beans has been selling for under $1 since March, the lowest price point in more than a decade. One pound of ground coffee will make about 48 cups.
But experts say consumers will still be paying the same price for a cup of coffee or latte in stores and cafes. While wholesale coffee prices have been dropping, coffee prices for consumers have actually been going up.
I found out about the Next Gen council opportunity while on an origin trip in Costa Rica. Experiencing the first 10 feet of coffee inspired me to find a way to contribute more to the larger conversation.
I hope to help inspire the next generation, especially women, to get involved in coffee and supply chain.
How and when did you get involved with the coffee industry?
It was right after Katrina in 2005 and I was living in New York City interviewing for jobs in advertising. My dad had to relocate Westfeldt Brothers to North Carolina, and asked if I would work on the New York Board of Trade (now the ICE) as a clerk and assist WBI.
I put everything on hold and started immediately. I fell in love with it!
If you ask how I ended up at Westfeldt Brothers, that was probably because my mom made my dad give me a job.
What interested you in joining the NCA Next Gen group and then becoming part of the council?
It’s been two weeks since Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolina coast. In the storm’s devastating wake, communities across the southeastern United States are still struggling with flooding, wastewater, and access to basic supplies.
During difficult times, small things can mean the most. That’s why the Community Coffee team, in partnership with organizations like The Salvation Army USA, USO of North Carolina, American Red Cross, and Harris Teeter, has served 16,000 cups of coffee to first responders and victims of Hurricane Florence to date.
“Good or bad, everyone loved sharing stories over a hot cup of Community coffee,” says Sean Kirby, Field Manager.
Child labor is a big problem in some of the poorer areas of Uganda, which includes coffee producing communities. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution.
Any resolution demands a dedicated, sustained effort. It must get to the root cause of the problem and improve the economic viability of households so that parents can afford to let their children attend school.
Some coffee companies are choosing step up and take action to empower positive change at origin.