The SCAA‘s 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition takes place in Minneapolis on May 2-5, and I will be attending along with Coffee & Conservation tasting panel member (also my dashing partner) Kingfisher. I will miss the Sustainability Symposium but will be attending lectures on sustainability and agroecology issues. It will be very interesting for me, as an ecologist, to see how these topics are handled and received by those in the coffee industry. There will also be several receptions where various sustainability awards are handed out, as well as the opportunity to hit the exhibit hall.
The SCAA is making this a “green” conference. They report,
The association’s carbon neutrality program will help offset emissions related to conference travel, lodging and energy consumption. Conference attendees will pay a small tariff [$7 person] to participate in the program, and funds collected from registrants—included in the conference fee—will be donated to the sustainable agroforestry non-profit organization, Trees for the Future, for the purchasing and planting of new trees. SCAA and specialty coffee importer, Sustainable Harvest representatives will provide oversight on funding the project.
There are many other green initiatives at the conference site, including elimination of paper hand-out; locally grown, in-season and organic food (with waste sent to a hog farm for use as animal feed and non-perishable, unopened food products donated to a local homeless shelter; and lots of recycling.
Stay tuned: I have a full schedule, but will try to keep up with posting on sustainability issues from the SCAA annual meeting!