How Can the NCA Serve Your Coffee Business?

By Theresa (Terri) Bartlett, NCA Director of Membership

We’re introducing an easier way to pay for small businesses, coffee shops, and independent roasters — and brewing some big-picture benefits.


If you are a small coffee shop operator (ten units or less) or a micro-roastery (5,000 bags a year or fewer), then you are probably already burning the candle at both ends. 

You’re primarily focused on the “basics” – day-to-day challenges like keeping the doors open and the lights burning – even as you are looking down the road at growth opportunities.

The bottom line? Above all, resources are tight.

This is why we’re rolling out an easier way to access National Coffee Association resources – to better serve you. (We’re also offering a special prorated offer on 2019 dues, so you can pick the plan that’s right for you.)

Because while you’re minding the store, we’re minding the big picture:

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Forcing Unfounded Cancer Warnings On Coffee Labels Is Unconstitutional, Says Legal Expert

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Compelled speech, like censored speech, can violate the Constitution, according to legal experts.

By William “Bill” Murray, CAE, NCA President & CEO via LinkedIn

“Forcing [coffee companies] to include a cancer warning on a product that does not cause cancer plainly violates the 1st Amendment.”

So states legendary First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams (Pentagon Papers, Citizen United), in today’s Los Angeles Times Op-Ed.

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A “Common Sense” Victory For Coffee Science in California

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“Call it a victory for science — or maybe just for common sense.” – The Seattle Times


It was a good news week for  coffee science in California.

Earlier this month, OEHHA (the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment agency) proposed a plan that would exempt coffee from Prop 65 required “cancer warning labels” in California after the most recent ruling in the ongoing legislation.

The statement was met with resounding support from scientists and coffee lovers alike.

“OEHHA’s Rulemaking is supported by both the full weight of scientific evidence and law,” wrote William “Bill” Murray, NCA President and CEO, in comments filed Aug. 30. The letter commended the decision and laid out the strong case for coffee in a scientific summary signed by Dr. Mark Corey, NCA’s Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, and Dr. Alan Leviton, Consultant to the NCA Scientific Advisory Group.

Simply put, the research speaks for itself: coffee does not cause cancer.

Then this week, in a groundbreaking announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Sacramento which emphatically set forth their support for this rule.

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Coffee, Acrylamide, and Your Health

A guide to California’s Prop. 65 and ongoing labeling legislation for the informed coffee drinker.

Overwhelming research shows that regular coffee consumption may be linked to a host of potential health benefits, from liver health to longevity. 

Scientists believe that the secret lies in coffee’s complex chemistry: There are at least 300 natural compounds in one green bean, and about 1,000 more created in the roasting process – including  caffeine (of course), antioxidants, and minerals.

Together, the various things that make up coffee create a delicious brew that can be part of a healthy lifestyle. 

However, a long-running lawsuit under California’s controversial Prop 65 regulation has sought  to force coffee companies to include “cancer warning labels” on coffee package labels and in coffee shops.

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Warning: California’s Coffee “Cancer” Labels May Be Hazardous to Public Health

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Last week, a Los Angeles judge ruled that coffee roasters and retailers must serve up a cancer warning with coffee sold in California under Prop. 65 regulations, based on the naturally-occurring presence of acrylamide from the roasting process.

The decision goes against what the science shows us – including the conclusions of the World Health Organization. Study after study, conducted independently and published in peer-reviewed journals, has shown the potential health benefits of drinking coffee — from liver health to living longer.

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Border Adjustment Tax Dropped

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The following post is from the latest NCA Member Alert

On Thursday, Republican leaders announced that the controversial border adjustment provision, which threatened to saddle coffee imports with duties that could have added as much as 20% to declared values, has been dropped from the proposed tax plan.

“While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” House, Senate and White House leaders working on a tax plan said in a joint statement Thursday, CNBC News reports.

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NCA Speaks Out Against Seattle Beverage Tax

“As a regressive tax borne largely by consumers, the proposal can hurt […] hundreds of independent roasters, coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, and suppliers. Aimed at promoting a healthy diet, the tax would have the opposite effect if applied to coffee.”  – William M. Murray, CEO, NCA 

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The Seattle City Council will vote on introducing a “soda tax” in the city on Monday. The measure would put a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, and would impact coffee as collateral damage. Furthermore, small businesses would be disproportionately affected.

The National Coffee Association has submitted the following letter to the City Council to express the industry’s strong position on how the tax would severely impact the local coffee economy and that coffee should be exempt should any soda tax be ratified.

Read the full NCA comment letter.

In the News

Is Seattle’s proposed soda tax also a tax on sugary lattes?

Take Action

Tell the Seattle city council that levying a soda tax on coffee would have unintended and unanticipated consequences for the coffee industry and local businesses. Send an email to  council@seattle.gov, or call 206-684-8888.

Comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at info@ncausa.org.