About SCA

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) is a trade association built on foundations of openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge. SCA’s purpose is to foster global coffee communities to support activities to make coffee a more sustainable, equitable, and thriving activity for the whole value chain. From coffee farmers to baristas and roasters, our membership spans the globe, encompassing every element of the coffee value chain. The SCA acts as a unifying force within the specialty coffee industry and works to make coffee better by raising standards worldwide through a collaborative and progressive approach. Dedicated to building an industry that is fair, sustainable, and nurturing for all, the SCA draws on years of insights and inspiration from the specialty coffee community.

Our Purpose
The SCA will foster a global coffee community and support activity to make specialty coffee a thriving, equitable, and sustainable activity for the entire value chain.

Our Vision
To create an effective, authentic and dynamic organization to give voice and substance to the possibilities for specialty coffee worldwide.

Our Mission
Engage, inspire, and expand a sustainable global specialty coffee community through leadership in events, education, and research.

Our Strategic Objectives
Make the specialty coffee industry more sustainable with an agenda focused on partnerships, education, research, and advocacy.

Create opportunities for professional engagement and individual growth through our network and programs.

Expand our global network and enhance the experience of our stakeholders by working with local communities.

Deliver outstanding service to members of the global specialty coffee community in everything we do.

Our Core Values
#1 Relevant Member Value

We serve our members as a nonprofit global platform that: 1) provides world-class events, education, research, and standards; 2) promotes best practices and professionalism that are inclusive of and adaptive to context; and 3) amplifies voices within the specialty coffee value chain.

#2 Sustainable Coffee Industry

We advocate for the sustainable growth of the coffee industry through collaborative partnerships that pursue equity, prioritize mutual benefits, and result in positive impact throughout the coffee supply chain. We work to improve understanding of critical social issues and inequities through proactive efforts, focused attention, education, and dedicated resources.

#3 Community of Communities

We value diverse perspectives by listening, centering, and adapting to unique local characteristics while encouraging a sense of global community for cultural and economic exchange. We recognize local communities and facilitate development of infrastructure, communication, and sharing within and among coffee communities.

#4 Best People
We recognize that diverse perspectives are needed to have a well-balanced and dynamic representation of and for membership. This includes (but is not exclusive to) race, gender, age, nationality, sexual orientation, member category and career, as well as in intersections of these identities. We develop, empower, and retain the best volunteer leaders and staff to engage our membership and external audiences by fostering an informative, inclusive, rewarding, and mutually-supportive environment.

#5 Ethical Operation

We demonstrate integrity of business practice and nonprofit governance. We comply with local regulatory requirements and act with unyielding dedication to our self-defined commitments. We inspire trust through transparent communication and acknowledgement of accountability, and improve performance through aspiration, self-monitoring and member engagement.

#6 Respect for the Individual

We create, produce, and support discrimination-free and harassment-free safe spaces for personal and professional collaboration, growth, and learning. We recognize that membership benefits and participation in activities differ depending on identity, background, privilege and access to resources, and we acknowledge that every member has a voice.

The 2023 SCA Annual Report
Last year was an exciting and inspiring year for us at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). Throughout 2023, the hard work of many enabled us to engage in research, develop standards, expand education, create events, and design experiences with a global reach—all in service on our continuous journey to fulfill our association’s commitment to make coffee better. Dive in to the newly published 2023 SCA Annual Report. You can also read more about the Annual Report on SCA News.

Download the 2023 SCA Annual Report

The Specialty Coffee Association Policy on Indirect Overhead Costs in Research
It is the policy of the Specialty Coffee Association, a non-profit based in the state of California, that no indirect overhead costs are to be paid when sponsoring research.

History of the Specialty Coffee Association
Established in January 2017 as a result of the unification of the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, the SCA combines rich histories on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world. The former Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) was established in 1982 by a small group of coffee professionals seeking a common forum to discuss issues and set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade. The former Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) was formed at a meeting of representatives of the European coffee community in London in 1998. By 2016, both organizations had close to 10,000 members combined and supported a thriving network of volunteer-led chapters across Europe.