I made the long trip today from the coffeelands to SCAA, but I was far from the only one. Thousands of people connected in one way or another to the coffee trade — from farmers to financial services providers, brokers to baristas and syrup manufacturers to supply chain consultants — continued to trickle into Anaheim.
I started bright and early, fueled by Café Barista at the airport in Guatemala (which, as the sign says, produces the best coffee in the world)…
…and ended my journey here, at the Anaheim convention center, which this weekend will be turned into the true magic kindgom of Southern California.
In between, I had the pleasure of running into — and sharing a cab with — Miguel and Arcadio of the pioneering Chajulense cooperative in Guatemala.
Miguel, who manages marketing and sales for Chajulense, and Arcadio, the association’s president, were kind enough to answer an endless stream of my questions regarding this year’s harvest, the challenges of managing the growth of the organization (it started some 20 years ago with 40 members and now has some 1400), how and when cooperatives should invest in dry mill technologies, and lots of other issues. The conference lectures don’t start for another two days, but in my case the learning has already begun.