The British Coffee Association
The British Coffee Association is the one-stop shop for coffee professionals. Our members span the entire supply chain including roasters, manufacturers and coffee shops. We represent, promote and support their interests and they benefit from our network of leading experts through educational workshops, webinars, networking and social events.
The BCA openly engages with media and UK Government to protect and promote members’ interests. We act as an industry spokesperson and authority on topics including sustainability, the circular economy and coffee’s contribution to the UK economy. We’re here to support and promote the hugely innovative work of the UK coffee industry.
We keep our members updated with information about issues that affect them, from technical, regulatory and sustainability issues to manufacture, distribution and consumption of coffee. Our active committees contribute to discussions of all sector-specific issues and we work closely with various organisations on the latest research, like the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.
The return of the Coffee Shop Innovation Expo heralds an important step in the post-Covid re-establishment of the UK hospitality industry in general, and the out-of-home retail coffee sector in particular.
UK consumers have continued to show their demand for coffee through 2020 and 2021 and indeed many will be hitting the high street having experienced a wider range of coffees in lockdown than they’ve previously tried. But it’s not just different origins consumers have focussed on, it’s new ways in which coffee can be presented: from cold brew to carbonated, nitro to seasonal flavours. Continued innovation, whilst still presenting the best of coffee drinking experiences, will be one of the roads to success - and moving beyond 2021 the UK coffee sector is well-placed to do so.
Few of us were moving much throughout lockdown, but the coffee journey didn’t halt and it continues to interest consumers. Where does their coffee come from, how’s it produced, what’s the environmental impact and, importantly, what value’s going back to the producer? Connecting with the consumer and illustrating that journey is important going forward.
At the same time, consumers are now returning to many of the questions they were raising, not just of coffee, pre-pandemic in terms of where coffee comes from, how it is produced, how does the chain fair in the drive for a carbon net zero product and, importantly, how what value is going back to the original nurturer of the quality, the producer?
Connecting with the consumer and illustrating that coffee journey is an important feature, not least for the next generation of coffee consumers. The journey however has many stages and what are the some of the aspects that will loom larger in the months ahead.
And the journey ahead, for the coffee industry, has challenges and opportunities. With a consultation on packaging, responsibilities and deposit return schemes just concluded, there’s a big, short-term focus on what can be recycled, how we improve recycling rates, reprocessing facilities and, most crucially, how we reduce the scale of littering. The disposable coffee cup is just one element (accounting for approx..10% of the cost of litter clean-ups by local authorities) but we must connect those consumers with their own responsibilities. If, as seems likely, we see a mandatory take-back scheme for disposable cups, we still need to develop that consumer ‘buy-in’ – potentially challenging when, for most people, the end location of their takeaway coffee is different from where they purchased it.
So maybe we finish as we started. Focussing on that word ‘Innovation’. As individual businesses start to consider what that means for them, a visit to the Coffee Shop Innovation Expo might just be just the catalyst that’s needed.