The British Coffee Association (BCA) has announced the appointment of longtime agricultural policy professional Paul Rooke as executive director.
Rooke joins the BCA after spending the past 25 years as the head of policy and external relations at the Peterborough, England-based agribusiness trade association the Agricultural Industries Confederation. Appointed by the BCA board, Rooke will report to BCA Chair Thomas Blackwall.
Rooke joins the BCA, whose membership comprises many of the largest coffee companies in the UK, amidst swirls of uncertainly as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a toll on the coffee industry globally. Meanwhile, the association is attempting to forge industry-positive trade and labor relationships given the UK’s messy Brexit.
“The coffee industry is, like many other sectors, facing a period of massive upheaval and business uncertainty from COVID-19,” Rooke said in an announcement from the BCA. “Coffee is an everyday part of so many peoples’ lives and we will be looking to ensure its production and availability to customers can be maintained during this very difficult period and those members whose businesses are facing immense pressure can get some respite from the measures government is introducing. Whilst I am of course excited to be joining the UK coffee industry, we recognise that there is an immediate need to support our members, and UK coffee, through this crisis.”
In addition to supporting the UK coffee industry through COVID-19 and Brexit, Rooke’s role within the association will also go towards its sustainability agenda, which this year will be bolstered by government resources, waste consultations and wider sustainability issues such as responsible sourcing and farmer assistance, according to the BCA.
Said BCA Chair Blackwall, “Paul’s extensive background working in policy and external affairs for wider trade associations will be hugely beneficial for the BCA, we couldn’t be happier that he has accepted the role.”