Words of Wisdom from NCA Board Members: Part II

Back in February, we launched a new series, “Words of Wisdom,” bringing career development stories and top-notch advice from industry leaders right to your inbox! For this second edition of “Words of Wisdom,” Michelle Dunaway, Sales Executive at Mercon Specialty, spoke with Jonathan White (White Coffee Corporation), John DeMuria (Volcafe USA LLC), and Michael Gaviña (F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc.). White, DeMuria, and Gaviña are all current NCA Board Members and long-time leaders of both the National Coffee Association and the industry overall.

Jonathan White

Executive Vice President / White Coffee Corporation

An attorney by trade and lifelong New York resident, Jonathan White, Executive Vice President of White Coffee Corporation, was born into the coffee business. White Coffee Corporation was founded by Jonathan’s grandfather in 1939, and his father carried on the legacy, spending over 40 years in the business, advocating for and developing the specialty coffee trade long before there were a plethora of chain and microroasters.  

Jonathan explains, “I grew up with the smell of coffee in my father’s station wagon; there was never a time he would not help a customer with their emergency needs and he would be sure to not only meet but to exceed their expectations. After practicing law and gaining experience in helping to run a variety of organizations, I joined the company in 1990. It is very rewarding to see our company’s growth and to serve our customers for many years – multi-generational in many cases – and to have many of our team members with White Coffee for 10, 15, and 20 years or more. “

“Our business has continued to evolve and grow, from the independent local stores and delis to national chains of club stores, supermarkets, hotel chains, and online retailers.  We also have worked with many licensors and private label retailers to develop proprietary brands.” In his role, Jonathan is involved in many aspects of the business, including oversight on commodity purchases, major account sales, financial oversight, team management/building, strategic direction, and day-to-day management.

Career advice for the younger generation in the coffee industry:

  • Diversify both your business channels and your skill sets.
  • Embrace change and flexibility as the world will continue to evolve. Expect the unexpected!
  • Ask lots of questions, and don’t always accept the first answer you get – assume nothing.
  • Think ahead and consider various scenarios and how you would best respond.
  • Always be selling! Create a unique selling proposition (for either yourself or for your product).
  • Develop lifetime relationships. Appreciate varying perspectives.
  • Aim for constant learning, improvement, and giving back to your community.

Favorite pastimes: Jonathan loves baseball (especially the NY Mets!), all kinds of music, travel, and reading all kinds of non-fiction books (especially those about current events/politics).

John DeMuria

Managing Partner / Volcafe USA LLC

Prior to joining the coffee industry, John DeMuria (JD), worked in banking on Wall Street, with a focus on coffee, cocoa, sugar, and grains. Volcafe, formerly known as Volkart Brothers, recruited JD, initially to work in finance, but he later transitioned into trading. In his first two years trading, JD worked to learn and absorb as much information as possible; at this time, differential prices were gaining prominence and the futures contract was evolving. From there, JD went on to manage the Colombia and Central America books.

Reflecting back on the start of his time trading, it brings to light just how much trading has evolved over time. Back when JD started in the business, trading was done by a telex machine and all documentation was done by hand. JD explains, “You had your telephone, telex, and a calculator. The telex operator was probably the best trader on the floor; every offer, every bid, went through their hands!”

Career advice for the younger generation in the coffee industry: “Be determined & dedicated.  Hard work always pays off. Live your dream and have a passion for what you do. Getting involved in Next Gen is a great opportunity to engage at an earlier age and early stage in your career.”

Favorite past NCA memory: “Being invited by your boss to the NCA Convention was the highest achievement; you said to yourself, ‘I made the inner circle.’”  JD has served on the NCA board since 2007.

Michael Gaviña

Managing Director of Financing and Accounting / F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc.

Michael was born into the business, meeting and networking with others across the coffee industry since an early age. Previously serving as the Purchasing Director at F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc., his current role is now that of Managing Director of Finance and Accounting. Michael explains that despite the formal titles, in a family business, you wear many hats; his experience ranges from sales to sustainability to equipment servicing.  

Career advice for the younger generation in the coffee industry: “Be of service.” [Publisher’s note: As you will observe through his favorite past NCA memory below, Michael certainly exemplifies the phrase, “practice what you preach,” and we are very appreciative of the role that Michael had in the development of the NCA Next Gen Council!]

Favorite past NCA memory: Michael played an integral role in the creation and development of the NCA Next Gen Council with the mission of nurturing, building, and developing the next generation of industry leaders.

Recommended reading: “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

Many thanks to Jonathan, JD, and Michael for sharing their stories and advice for this edition of “Words of Wisdom!” Their leadership and service to the NCA is admirable and tremendously appreciated! 

Four Revealing Coffee Trends You Need to Know

By William “Bill” Murray, National Coffee Association President & CEO


The world of coffee has never been more complex – which is why having consistent, transparent data about coffee drinkers is crucial for your coffee business. 

We’ve just released the Spring 2022 survey of U.S. coffee drinkers, the latest addition to NCA’s legendary coffee trends research, the NCDT – National Coffee Data Trends – with important findings about the rapidly changing consumer landscape.

But it isn’t only the data that is new: Last year we also introduced a new online interactive data and visualization platform, which allows subscribers to NCA research to run custom reports on the vast datasets contained in the NCDT report.

The Spring 2022 NCDT report is now available for purchase, and key highlights include:

1. Nationwide coffee consumption is at a two-decade high. 66% of Americans reported that they had consumed coffee within the past day. This is up a staggering 14% since January 2021 – the largest year-on-year increase we have seen since we began gathering data.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Americans’ coffee drinking habits. While 27% of coffee lovers (up 8% from January 2021) are venturing out of home for their brew more frequently, out of home coffee consumption still has not returned to pre-pandemic levels. In addition, we found that at-home coffee consumption remains elevated; 84% of Americans had coffee at home in the past day, up from 4% in January 2020.

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3. The popularity of specialty coffee is at a five-year high. 43% of American coffee drinkers chose a specialty brew in the last day – up by 20% from January 2021. Learn more about specialty coffee in our new, free-to-download specialty coffee breakout report, produced with the support of the Specialty Coffee Association.

4. Americans love espresso-based beverages. Cappuccinos and lattes are tied for the most popular espresso-based drinks nationally, followed closely by plain espresso and café mocha.

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As the country begins to emerge from the worst public health crisis in recent memory, it is only fitting that coffee — backed by decades of independent scientific evidence showing its unique health benefits — is more popular than ever.

 Industry leaders are telling me, over and again, that they have never seen a more complicated, challenging business environment. Our motto here at NCA is “We Serve Coffee” – whether by providing accurate market data, championing fact-based regulation, or celebrating the science of coffee and health. I invite you to acquire our latest market research, as well as learn how joining the NCA can support the strength and success of your coffee business.

 NCA: We Serve Coffee.

 Not sure if you’re an NCA Member? Check our Membership list. If you’re not a member but could benefit from access to this research or other key industry resources, explore your Membership options.

Origin Spotlight: Basilio Fuscich, Green Coffee Trader, Co. Honducafé

Bent Dietrich Jr, Coffee Trader at American Coffee Corporation, chatted with Basilio Fusich, trader at the renowned and highly-regarded Cohonducafé. A coffee exporter in Honduras, Cohonducafé leverages its local knowledge and relationships to share Honduran coffee with every corner of the globe. 

The interview below has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.  

Basilio representing Cohonducafe at a trade show.

When was Co. Honducafe founded? How did you get your start in the coffee industry and at Co. Honducafe? 

November 1999. Coffee has always been part of my life. Ever since I was a kid, coffee has been a topic of conversation. I officially began to work at Honducafe right after I finished my master’s degree in Coffee Economics and Science from Universita del Caffé in Illy in Trieste, Italy. 

What is the current socio-economic climate for coffee growers, exporters, and stakeholders in Honduras? 

These last couple of years have been very harsh for all parties involved. Back in the 2018/2019 crop, the market was below levels of $100, then during COVID-19 came the 2019/2020 crop, and then we had hurricanes Eta and Iota in [the span of] 15 days for crop 2020/2021 — and are still suffering from the pandemic. Ever since I began in the industry, the country has been climbing uphill every year to be able to export its crop. 

What are the biggest challenges young members of the coffee industry face in Honduras? 

There is already a lot of competition in the industry and adding the hardships of COVID-19 will make it more challenging. The reason I mention Covid is that the economic impact on small businesses here will be very long term. The economy is extremely dependent on coffee and any changes to the supply chain pressure the entire economy. 

The freight rates are increasing, causing all our necessary goods to [go up in price] rapidly. At the end of the day, younger and newer farmers are more susceptible cost increases. The real challenge will be keeping younger people engaged in the industry long-term. 

Does Co. Honducafe have any sustainability initiatives in Honduras you are particularly proud of? 

We have Fundacion Co. Honducafe, a non-profit organization that promotes the development and improvement of the coffee sector by promoting and supporting initiatives that promote productivity, economic growth, social responsibility and care for the environment.  

We have numerous projects with many clients around the world that have built schools in coffee producing areas in Honduras.  

We have seen the market rally from around $150 recently to almost $220 and back. For this year, how do you think it will impact Honduran producers? You mentioned previously it was an election year, and coming off last year’s hurricane, there must be many concerns for the industry?  

It would have been great for the producers to have these levels at the beginning of the 2019/2020 crop so that they can receive more money and invest in their farms. The timing limited the opportunity for producers to take advantage of the higher prices. We are hoping that this year everything goes smoothly and the industry can work without interruptions from political and natural events. 

What do you think NCA Next Gen members should really know about Honduras, and the future of coffee in Honduras? 

I invite them to get to know more about  our coffee. We have excellent quality that can be promoted in the highest markets of the industry.         

Any advice for young people in coffee on growing in the industry? 

My advice is to continue the good work that is being done, and always be on the lookout for new technologies that will make coffee growing more efficient and sustainable. Through our foundation, we partner with farmers and producers to continually explore new technologies and inputs to increase their yields and profitability.  

What has your experience been working with the NCA? 

My experience has been great. It has given me the opportunity to seek new customers and build my network of clients. 

Finally, what is your favorite way to consume a cup of coffee?  

I will sound boring, but my favorite way to consume my multiple cups of coffee during the day is Americano with no sugar. Especially freshly roasted from my grandfather’s farm. 

NCA Member Spotlight: Driftaway Coffee

Company: Driftaway Coffee
Location: Brooklyn, NY
NCA Member Since: 2019
Website: driftaway.coffee
Facebook: facebook.com/driftawaycoffee
Twitter: twitter.com/driftawaycoffee
Instagram: instagram.com/driftawaycoffee

What does Driftaway Coffee do?

We are a direct-to-consumer coffee roaster, offering personalized subscriptions in an environmentally and socially conscious manner.

What drives your passion for this industry?

We started this company out of an urge to create. Create something we were passionate about. Something we could be proud of. And for our need for and interest in great coffee.

Why did you become a member of the National Coffee Association (NCA)?

I am interested in networking with other members and learning from everyone.

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Plant Trees. Save Coffee.

Help Build Stronger Coffee Communities

By Bambi Semroc, Vice President, Sustainable Markets and Strategy for Conservation International and leader of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge


Trees get old. They get sick. They die. And it’s up to us to replant them.

I grew up alongside two beautiful, mature and statuesque maple trees in the back yard. My parents saved those trees when they built our house. Dad said you don’t cut down old trees because it takes too long to grow another one. I watched showers of helicopter seeds fall in the spring. I raked their leaves and jumped in huge piles every fall with my brother. We mulched and planted flowers around them. Those trees are still standing, but my dad is not. I have long-since moved away and so has my brother. My mom now cares for those trees on her own. Last month she called with the sad news that she has to remove one because it is dying. I can’t imagine that tree not being there, and I wonder what tree we will plant to replace it.

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Coffee is good for everyone – and more is better

Coffee Farmer Picking Coffee

With the UN General Assembly kicking off this week in New York and the International Coffee Organization convening in London next week, we’re heading into a busy time for the global coffee community. With all the travel hours ahead of us, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on the hard questions and big opportunities that will shape coffee’s future.

Numerous studies show coffee consumption reduces risk of everything from dementia to heart disease to depression to certain types of cancer.  The science is clear – coffee is good for the people who drink it. This past summer even California joined the side of scientific consensus to recognize coffee’s health benefits.

It’s not just that some coffee is good.  More coffee is better. In fact, research from the National Institute of Health shows that drinking six or seven cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of death from any cause by up to 16 percent. The average American coffee drinker only drinks three cups per day currently, meaning many of us are missing out on coffee’s full potential.

Even better – an extra cup of joe (or five) isn’t just good for the people who drink coffee, it’s good for the people who grow it.

The world currently grows a billion pounds more coffee than we drink.  A study commissioned by the World Coffee Producers Forum confirmed that coffee prices are stable based on current supply, particularly driven by increased efficiency in leading coffee-growing countries.

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NCA Member Spotlight: Vinh Hiep Co. Ltd. / L’amant International Corp.

Company: Vinh Hiep Co. Ltd. / L’amant International Corp.
Location: Pleiku City, Gia Lai Province, Vietnam
NCA Member Since: January 2019
Websites: vinhhiepgl.com or www.lamantcafe.com/
Facebook: lamantcafe.vn

What does the Vinh Hiep Co. do?

We export green coffee beans and roast coffee.

What drives your passion for this industry?

Our love for coffee beans and coffee flavor

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.

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Getting Started in Coffee Branding

It’s more than a logo.

To learn more about coffee branding, NCA members can access the on-demand webinar, “Getting Started in Coffee Branding.”

By Michael Wilson, Creative Director, Made Visible Studio

Branding is not some sort of black magic.

Rather, it is a methodic process by which an organization defines what makes them unique and how they are different from the competition.

A brand is a promise of an experience. It is up to you, the owner of the company, to decide and control what kind of experience that is going to be.

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NCA Member Spotlight: Nano-Purification Solutions

Companynano purification solutions
Location: Charlotte, NC
NCA Member Since: 2018
Twitter: @npsi_USA
Facebook: /nanopurificationsystems
Instagram: @nanopurificationsolutionsusa

What does nano-purification solutions do?

Nano is a manufacturer of nitrogen gas generation systems used for coffee packaging, manufacturing, cold brew coffee production and nitro draught service.

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NCA Submits Comments to 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Related: NCA Update from the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines Scientific Review

The following is an excerpt from the latest NCA Member Alert

Do you remember the Food Guide Pyramid or MyPlate?

Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary Guidelines.  These are dietary recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits. 

Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.

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