The Specialty Coffee Association has announced the launch of its Coffee Sustainability Program, a professional education program that responds to the growing demand of sustainability in the coffee business.
In format, the program is similar to the SCA’s popular Coffee Skills Program — which covers such subjects such as barista skills, sensory skills, green coffee and roasting — in that it offers three levels, required in sequence: Foundation, Intermediate and Professional.
“The SCA saw a need for this curriculum for many reasons,” SCA Chief Sustainability Officer Kim Elena Ionescu said in a news announcement from the SCA today, noting the increase in sustainability positions within coffee companies, faster growth by companies with sustainability mandates, interest among younger people in working for companies whose values reflect theirs, and threats to coffee production. “Many of these threats have been building across generations but require action by this generation for the industry to have a viable future.”
Pricing for the courses is typically determined by the Authorized SCA Trainers (ASTs) running the course at any number of approved SCA member-campuses throughout the globe. Updated course schedules and locations can be found here.
According to the SCA, the curriculum for the Foundation-level course is ready to go, while the curricula for Intermediate and Professional will be ready soon. Here’s a brief overview of each level from the SCA:
- Foundation – The program’s first course covers the major sustainability issues facing the coffee industry today and offers baseline knowledge of what the term “sustainability” means, how it is connected to power dynamics, current and historical events and practices, as well as a variety of coffee projects.
- Intermediate – The Intermediate course introduces learners to global sustainability challenges and prepares learners to begin thinking analytically about the impact they’d like to make in the sector.
- Professional – The Professional course offers an intensive, practical experience in which learners design, carry out, and assess their own sustainability project in accordance with their individual, organizational, or business goals and capabilities