Despite the challenges posed by Hurricane Ida’s impact on the city two weeks ago, the SCA has decided to proceed with the Expo, scheduled for later this month. Ida was a Category 4 Hurricane when she hit the city of 1.3 million people, tearing off roofs and destroying trees with wind speeds exceeding 240 kph.
The CEO of the company, Yannis Apostolopoulos has posted a statement below and published a YouTube message, which announces the cancellation of other events, such as the U.S. Coffee in Good Spirits, U.S. Cup Tasters, and U.S. Roaster Championships as well as the U.S. Latte Art Competition until 2022.
An explanation of how the difficult decision was reached, was not given, but we can assume the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID was at the heart of it. Based on the heatmap below, it’s hard to imagine that the SCA could have made a different decision until the landscape looks different.
Yannis Apostolopoulos makes a statement on YouTube below.
The Press Release Follows:
This message is for Specialty Coffee Expo exhibitors, sponsors, visitors, and the wider specialty coffee community who attend the show every year to do business and to connect.
Today, I want to share with you that the SCA has decided to move forward with the Specialty Coffee Expo in New Orleans this month and will be regretfully postponing the United States Coffee Championships to 2022. As part of this decision, we will also be donating 50% of all attendee revenue to New Orleans coffee businesses as they rebuild after Hurricane Ida.
We at the SCA are committed to putting on the best event we possibly can so our industry can restart, so we can reconnect, and rebuild. Many coffee companies rely on Expo for their businesses. This is especially true for producers, importers, exporters, manufacturers and allied businesses around the world. This is the main reason we do a trade show – we’re using our convening power to bring buyers and sellers together, business to business, person to person. This has enormous value and these companies need this.
Additionally, the city wants us there and has assured us it’s safe. We are talking to the city of New Orleans every day, as well as the convention center and have been assured it’s safe and will be ready. The building sustained light damage which has been repaired. You can find updates on the city and convention center here www.neworleans.com/updates/
We carefully assessed the financial risk involved with this decision. Expo is the largest specialty coffee event in North America, and we have been in contracts since 2016. While that took time to assess, we also took a long look at the risk to our fundamental values and mission in making this decision.
Regarding USCC. We have listened to the feedback from the US Chapter and the USCC Committee, and on their request, we will be postponing the 2021 U.S. Coffee in Good Spirits, U.S. Cup Tasters, and U.S. Roaster Championships as well as the U.S. Latte Art Competition until 2022. For those of you involved in the USCC, our team will be in touch very shortly.
So as we look forward now to Expo, we will have updated information regarding Covid Safety, hotels, FAQs and other show information shortly. For any other questions, please contact us using the contact form on the expo website, and one of our team will get back to you as quickly as we can.
As mentioned – Expo provides huge value to our industry, but we are determined to make sure it brings value to the city of New Orleans, and to its wonderful coffee community. Our plan to contribute 50% of attendee revenue will require help from local and national partners to help us identify the best way to administer this support. If you’re interested in helping, or know of someone who can help – please get in touch.
Finally, thank you for your patience. These have not been easy decisions and we trust everyone will make the best judgement for themselves. We are committed to putting on the best event we possibly can so our industry can reconnect, rebuild and restart.
If you can make it to Expo 2021, I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans.