The Specialty Coffee Association has announced it is exploring options to potentially postpone the Specialty Coffee Expo, scheduled to take place next month in Portland, Oregon, due to concerns related to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Just moments ago, the organization announced it is also officially postponing the 2020 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) show — which features the 2020 World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup — to Nov. 3-6.
In an email sent to its membership tonight, the SCA said it is also working with “partner venues in the United States and Poland” to review options for postponing Re:co Symposium, the Specialty Coffee Expo, and World of Coffee, three of the nonprofit’s largest global events.
The announcement comes as the World Health Organization today declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The SCA’s announcement follows cancellations or postponements of numerous other coffee events, including the Paris Coffee Festival and the London Coffee Festival.
Here is the letter sent to SCA membership in full:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Over the past few weeks, we have been monitoring the outbreak and its impact on our upcoming events and seeking solutions with the health and safety of our community in mind. We have been exploring alternative options to support the best outcomes for all stakeholders who have invested in preparing for these shows.
Today the 2020 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), featuring the 2020 World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup, has been postponed by the show organizers to November 3-6, 2020.
We can also confirm that we are working with our partner venues in the United States and Poland to review options for postponing Re:co Symposium, the Specialty Coffee Expo, and World of Coffee.
Since the initial concerns over the spread of COVID-19, we have been meeting daily with various vendors, partners, sponsors, and supporters of our main events, monitoring news and official advisories as well as the questions and concerns coming in from our community. We are grateful for the messages of understanding and support, and all the feedback we have seen and received. We recognize the diverse opinions and challenges of all our global communities. We are working to post updates as soon as possible.
Currently, the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) and Travel Portland, who will be hosting Re:co Symposium and Expo, have informed us that despite the state of emergency declaration in Oregon, there is no new guidance on large gatherings and that events will move forward as planned. We are awaiting an update on this stance in light of the recent WHO decision to label the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
We are working to post updates as soon as possible.
Chief Executive Officer
Specialty Coffee Association