The British Coffee Association (BCA) has appointed Thomas Blackwall, the global head of coffee at Finlays, as chairperson. Blackwall takes over the role following the two-year term of previous chairperson Ian Bryson, also of Finlays.
Representing the interests of some of the largest beverage companies and coffee buyers in the UK, the BCA is currently facing a host of unknowns related to Brexit. The group has publicly expressed its support for taking a “no deal Brexit” off the table, meaning it does not support the UK leaving the European Union without a divorce agreement in place. According to the BCA’s own estimates, coffee contributes approximately £17.7 billion each year to the UK economy.
“The Chair will support the industry through the next phase of Brexit negotiations,” the group wrote in an announcement of Blackwall’s appointment. “The challenges faced by UK industry from Brexit are hugely significant, on issues including trade, imposition of tariffs, and labour movement.”
Blackwall has been with Finlays for the past 13 years, and he currently oversees green coffee buying, product development and the company’s sustainable sourcing agenda.
According to the BCA, Blackwall will work closely with BCA Sustainability Committee Co-Chairs Krisztina Szalai from Taylors of Harrogate and Victoria Moorhouse from Costa Coffee on sustainability-driven initiatives, including its framework composed of seven coffee industry goals that work towards a sustainable circular economy.