We’re excited to host SCAA on the East Coast and hope you will take the opportunity to experience Boston’s vibrant culture, steeped in history, academia, and sports (the 117th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon, takes place on April 15). You’ll find that Boston offers its own unique coffee experience, from renowned coffee chains to small, neighborhood coffee shops. Boston is also a Fair Trade Town, having earned this recognition in 2010 for its commitment to improving the lives of farmers and their families around the world.
Thirty-two years ago in the mountains north of Boston, GMCR’s founder Bob Stiller sat down for a cup of coffee in a restaurant in a small New England ski town. He was struck by the unusually great taste of the coffee, having grown up with instant coffee most of his life. Believing that everyone should have access to a great cup of coffee, he set a goal to bring high-quality specialty coffee to a broad audience of coffee fans. With that aim, GMCR was born. From the start, Bob espoused the philosophy that the foundation of a great company and great coffee is relationships—with employees, producers, customers, industry partners, NGOs, and of course, coffee drinkers themselves.
In short, that cup of coffee changed his life.
So many lives have been changed by coffee. The SCAA and its members have changed lives all over the world by working together to elevate specialty coffee in the minds and mouths of coffee drinkers. The SCAA and GMCR were founded on similar principles. As industry members, we all may differ in our approach—but the heart of our industry is the relationships we have with our colleagues, and it’s our competitive collaboration that has driven the growth and evolution of specialty coffee.
This SCAA Annual Exposition is a time to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of the past 25 years. But it’s even more important to look forward to the next 25 years and beyond. We face daunting challenges ahead. Climate change. Food security. Supply issues for quality coffee. Market volatility. Migration of young workers away from coffee farms. Pricing issues. How will we tap into the strength of our relationships to tackle these complex and difficult challenges and make meaningful progress? It will take all of us working together to ensure the continued and sustained health and growth of specialty coffee in the marketplace, and to ensure a healthy future for coffee growers and their families and communities around the world.
The SCAA’s Annual Exposition is the place we come together—all of us who love coffee, support this industry, and carry enormous potential to make a difference. We invite you to experience all that this exciting event has to offer. The Expo floor, lectures on hot topics, training and certification programs, and competitions among the finest baristas in the world. We also hope that you’ll embrace the most significant opportunity at SCAA—the chance to build and strengthen relationships with others in our industry, learn from each other, and identify new ways to collaborate to keep our industry growing and thriving.
We congratulate SCAA on 25 years of this Expo. We encourage you to celebrate by forging your own special relationship with the coffee in your cup, with coffee growers around the world, and with all those in the industry that strive to create a truly excellent cup of coffee.
It just might change your life, too.
President and CEO
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.