SCAE/SCAA Unification

  • We're delighted to confirm that SCAE and SCAA have officially unifed to become the Specialty Coffee Association. Visit our new website now at or access your current benefits by logging in here as normal.
  • Dear Member,

    We are pleased to report that SCAA members have voted in favour of unifying with SCAE, following the close of their vote on Friday 5th August. With such a strong mandate from SCAE members earlier this year, and now with this mandate from SCAA members, we’re delighted to move forwards together to create a global future for speciality coffee on a local level. We would like to thank the SCAA members for their contribution to this process, and for making their voices heard over the future of their association and the wider speciality coffee community.

    Now we will get to work on the next steps in this exciting process.  Over the remainder of 2016 a great deal of planning and preparation work will continue with both Boards of Directors, other volunteer leadership and executive staff to drive us forward to reach the stated vision to be an effective, dynamic, and authentic organization that gives voice and substance to the possibilities for speciality coffee worldwide.

    We will continue to run as two separate organisations through the remainder of this year, as much focus is put on infrastructure and planning for a shared future.  However, we remain fully committed to open lines of communication with our members, and ensuring that members are the first to know as next steps are taken.  When something important is about to happen, you will be the first to know.

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank you as SCAE members for your patience and participation throughout this process, and we encourage you to continue that support and input as we move forward with the process.

    We will be continuing our communications with you to ensure you are fully informed, and will continue to update and offer updates across our social media channels. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email where a Board Member or member of the executive team will be pleased to respond to you.

    Sincere coffee regards,

    The SCAE Board of Directors


    Paul Stack, Christina Meinl, Cosimo Libardo, Nils Erichsen, Tibor Varady, Ludovic Maillard, Luigi Morello, Johan Damgaard, Alberto Polojac, Chahan Yeretzian, Frank Neuhausen, Dale Harris, Lauro Fioretti, Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos, Davide Cobelli, David Veal, Yannis Apostolopoulos

  • On 23rd May 2016 at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in London, UK, Paul Stack, SCAE President, announced the following result with regard to unification fo SCAE and SCAA. We now await the result of the SCAA member vote due to be completed on 5 August 2016.

    Unification result


  • SCAE, WCE & SCAA Staff Convene for Strategic Meetings in London

    Last month, senior staff and members of the boards of the Specialty Coffee Associations of America (SCAA) and Europe (SCAE), as well as World Coffee Events (WCE), met in London for the first collaborative planning meeting of the future unified specialty coffee organization. This was an exciting event for all staff, as it represented the first in-person opportunity for the three groups to interact as a unified team. Over the course of 3 days, we looked into the details around unification based on departmental focus, discussed how we could grow member value and improve systems, and began to identify what a unified organizational structure would look like when we officially become a single organization in 2017. Merging three organizations is by no means a small endeavor, but all staff left feeling a great sense of confidence that our collective teams were up to the task and more importantly, were dedicated to doing so with member value at the heart of every decision being made. Look for unification updates and announcements every month in both the SCAA and SCAE newsletters.
    Event Updates: Many members have shared the concern that moving forward with unification may mean that some events would cease to happen in 2017. We’d like to dispel this rumor! All events scheduled for 2017, including both the SCAA and SCAE trade shows as well as major WCE events will occur as planned. In fact, many events are already confirmed for multiple years into the future. Here is a complete list of all confirmed major events with locations and dates through 2022:
    SCAA Expo & Re:co Symposium:  
    • 2017, April 20-23, Seattle
    • 2018, April 19-22, Seattle
    • 2019, April 11-14, Boston
    • 2020, April 23-26, Portland
    • 2021, April 22-25, New Orleans
    • 2022, April 7-10, Boston 
    SCAE World of Coffee & Re:co Symposium:  
    • 2017, 13-15 June, Budapest
    • 2018, 19-21 June, Amsterdam
    • 2019, 8-10 June, Berlin 
    WCE Championships:  
    • WBC: 2017, November 9-12 at Cafe Show Seoul, South Korea
    • WCRC: Mid-December 2017 at Hotelex Guangzhou, China
    • WBRC, WLAC, WCIGS, WCTC and Cevze/IBrik: 2017, June 13-15 at World of Coffee in Budapest
    Overall it is unlikely that any events would be eliminated due to unification; it is far more likely – and the vision of our two boards – that together we’d be able to produce more events, in more places around the world creating even more opportunities for members to network, connect and learn.


    Key dates:

    10 August 2016

    SCAA members voted in favour of unifying with SCAE.

    5 July to 5 August 2016

    Voting is open for all members of the SCAA. Results will be announced the week after the voting has closed. 

    23 May 2016

    Paul Stack presented a "Yes" vote from the SCAE members to the Extraordinary General Assembly. The exact results of the vote can be seen under the tab "Vote Results". 

    April 2016

    Several SCAE Member Meetings are scheduled to take place in April and May. As part of an ongoing commitment to transparency, these informational sessions will outline the process of unifying, and will aim at informing the members who will ultimately need to ratify this action. Also, we’ll explore how unification will enable us to combine financial and intellectual resources to invest more heavily in research, education, and sustainability, and which will in turn translate to more programmes, events, and services for our members. A prospectus document has been made available for member review which is available under the "Vote" tab above.

    March 2016

    The Preliminary Agreement was reviewed and approved by both Boards of Directors, and a summary will be presented to interested SCAE and SCAA members for their consideration. Informational sessions have been scheduled for members to learn more. It will be followed by a Definitive Agreement, which will detail the steps to final approval and implementation of the unification.  A vote by both memberships to approve key terms will take place shortly after that.

    January 2016

    Following a vote in December by the SCAE Board of Directors and January by the SCAA Board of Directors, the decision was taken to proceed with the unification process and move towards creating a Preliminary Agreement between the two associations.

    December 2015

    At a meeting in New York City on 7 December, directors from both SCAE and SCAA were presented with a comprehensive feasibility study by consultants Heart + Mind Strategies detailing the possibilities, advantages, and drawbacks of unifying the two organisations. In addition, the consultants proposed a possible structure for a unified organisation, and a potential roadmap to a Global Speciality Coffee organisation. This information and proposal were presented to the board of SCAE on 10 December, and will be presented to the SCAA board on 14 January. The two boards will then consider next steps, keeping the interests of their respective memberships and the global speciality coffee community in mind.

    October 2015

    Both SCAE and SCAA launch a survey to all their members to collect their input on whether a unification would be a good idea. Read all about the survey under the "Survey Results" tab.

    September 2015

    The SCAE President, Paul Stack, writes an article for Cafe Europa that details the latest developments on unification. Read the article here.

    June 2015

    Paul Stack, SCAE’s Vice President (now President), presents on unification at Re:co in World of Coffee Gotheburg.


  • What does the unification process mean? Please download the infographic below for an overview of the process and what unification could lead to



    Download the prospectus on unification in the different languages by clicking on the flag of the language you want to read it in:

    中文 français deutsch

    русский español


    Roadshow Presentation

    Download the roadshow presentation in the different languages by clicking on the flag of the language you want to read it in:

    中文 français deutsch

    русский español
  • Initial FAQs


    SCAE members and SCAA members have voted in favour of unification. This positive result will now mean we will work carefully to form a unified association, although we anticipate a significant amount of work required to complete this. We will share our progress with all our members and the wider speciality coffee community over the coming months, but please appreciate that we may not have all the answers right away.


    1.  Now that we have both agreed to unify, what are the next steps?

    SCAE and SCAA will continue to operate as two separate organisations for the time being. Meanwhile, both associations will be working with our independent consultants, Heart and Mind Strategies, to develop the Definitive Agreement which we will aim to have complete by the end of September. Following the completion of the Definitive Agreement, the two Boards of Directors will each review and ratify the document which will formally end the “Negotiation Phase” and will move us into the “Transitional Phase”. We will also both be engaging in a collaborative strategic planning session which will take place in London, UK in September and will aim to set out the beginnings of an Operational Plan.


    2.  When will the two associations become one?

    Pending completion of the “Due Diligence” and a final ratification from both Boards of Directors, the two associations will officially become one on 1st January 2017.


    3.  Who are the people working on the next steps?

    The SCAE Board of Directors and the SCAA Board of Directors, led by a smaller Working Group that has equal representation of both Boards, along with representation from the consultants, heart and Mind Strategies, as well as Senior Staff from both Executive Teams, will lead the discussions and planning for the newly formed unified association.


    4.  What changes to my current membership will I see over the coming months?

    In the short term, there will be no changes to your membership, or any of the other products or services offered by SCAE or SCAA. We will continue to offer our full range of member benefits for the remainder of 2016, and most likely into the beginning of 2017 as well, while we continue to work on making improvements and enhancements as we move forward with the newly formed unified association.


    5.  I’m a member of both SCAA and SCAE and my membership for either or both expires before January 2017, should I pay my renewal fees?

    If this is the case, please notify us by emailing or In order to remain a SCAE or SCAA member and to continue your current benefits, we strongly suggest that you renew your membership(s).


    6.  Are World of Coffee and Expo still planned for 2017? What about other events?

    All SCAE and SCAA events that are scheduled to take place during 2017 will still take place, including Expo, World of Coffee, Roasters Guild and Barista Guild events, and WCE Competitions such as World Barista Championship. In addition, major U.S. 2018-2020 and European 2018-2019 conferences have signed contracts and remain unaffected.


    7.  What will happen to SCAA and SCAE educational programmes?

    The SCAA and SCAE leadership are committed to streamlining the two education programs into one mutually beneficial system. Our aim is to either improve or maintain value at every step, for every participant.  Exact details are being worked on by collaborative teams of SCAA and SCAE leaders including volunteer leaders and staff.  If you are an AST (SCAE) or a Specialised Instructor (SCAA) and would like to contribute your thoughts and ideas to this process, please contact or accordingly.


    8.  What happens to the National Chapters?

    The National Chapters remain a major part of our plans for the future. We will continue to support our National Chapters with their events and other activities, while working on expanding our chapter network into new countries in the coming years.


    9.  I’m an AST. What happens to me?

    In the short term, your business will not be affected by unification, nor will the level of support you currently receive from SCAE Head Office.


    10.  How will this decision affect the World Championships and World Coffee Events?

    World Coffee Events was originally a joint venture of the two associations SCAA and SCAE to deliver feature events to the members and global coffee communities.  For now, WCE will continue to manage their portfolio of events, including WBC, WLAC, WCIGS, WBrC, WCTC and WCRC, while integrating into the events center of the new organization.  The entire portfolio of all events between the organizations will be reviewed so that we can continue to deliver events that are meaningful to multiple member categories and also add value to new audiences


    11.  I voted “No” to unification and opted to cancel my membership if it went ahead. What happens to my membership now?

    As a SCAE member, you will continue to receive your member benefits for the remainder of 2016. Despite your choice during the vote, we would hope to persuade you back to the newly formed unified association. If you have changed your mind about cancelling your membership, please notify us immediately so that we can ensure your membership will carry forward into the newly formed unified association. Similarly, if you are still not sure and would like more information before confirming that you are cancelling your membership, please contact us immediately so we can arrange for you to speak with a member of the Board of Directors. 


    12.  I’m not a member yet. Should I wait until the two associations are unified before joining?

    We are still working on the membership offering for the newly formed unified association. We can confirm however that becoming a member now, will guarantee that you will receive your benefits immediately and your membership fee will carry forward into the newly formed unified association for the first year.


    13.  How can I keep up to date with the progress?

    SCAE will be posting updates to while SCAA will continue to post updates to Both associations will continue to communicate through email, the Chronicle and Café Europa, and you can also follow both associations across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live updates.


    14.  You’ve not answered my questions. How can I find out more information?

    If the above web pages, social media channels and magazines do not provide the answers you’re looking for, SCAE members can email their questions to, while SCAA members can email their questions to



    We will continue to post the most frequently asked questions and their answers here over the coming months so please check back for more information in the future.