Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Al Liu to Lead Sustainable Harvest’s Expansion of ‘Let’s Talk Coffee’Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine


Let’s Talk Coffee 2018

Al Liu at a Sustainable Harvest Let’s Talk Coffee event in Colombia in 2018. Photo by Bryan Clifton, courtesy of Sustainable Harvest.

Green coffee trading company Sustainable Harvest plans to expand its progressive and influential Let’s Talk Coffee event series under the direction of longtime specialty coffee professional Al Liu.

In an announcement today, the company described Let’s Talk Coffee as an expanded “platform” that will include a “farm-to-roaster information exchange” and will involve more participants to improve the industry’s collective green coffee knowledge.

Liu, who most recently served as vice president of coffee at Milwaukee-based Colectivo Coffee, has been tapped to fill the new Let’s Talk Coffee director position.

Through 19 iterations to this point, Let’s Talk Coffee has existed as an in-person event series, with events typically taking place within coffee-producing countries. Unlike most coffee industry shows, the event has historically focused on value chain issues in coffee, with a particular goal of bridging gaps between farmers, producers and green coffee buyers.

Let’s Talk Coffee 2018

Let’s Talk Coffee in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2018. Photo by Bryan Clifton, courtesy of Sustainable Harvest.

The future of the event series was uncertain when multinational green coffee trader Sucafina acquired Sustainable Harvest earlier this year.

Today, Sucafina said it plans to maintain an in-person event while complementing it with a more robust information network.

“In the past, green coffee sales have thrived on informational asymmetries,” Sucafina Head of Green Coffee Jordan Hooper said in an announcement from the group. “But, at this point, that is what’s holding us back from a more efficient, more equitable, more profitable business model for those who are actually adding value to coffee. We’re not producing a thinly veiled infomercial for our trading business. Let’s Talk Coffee will thrive on inclusion and engage in rigorous inquiry to provide relevant green coffee information.”

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A past Let’s Talk Coffee guest and presenter, Liu maintains deep experience in the green coffee industry, serving two long stints at Colectivo (formerly Alterra Coffee Roasters during the first), while in between working at coffee trading company Atlas Coffee Importers. Liu served two terms on the former SCAA board of directors, and was also an influential figure in the former SCAA Sustainability Council.

Let’s Talk Coffee

Daily Coffee News photo by Nick Brown.

“Al is the perfect person to lead an equitable information exchange,” Sustainable Harvest Managing Director Kat Nolte said. “He is humble with an inexhaustible ability to listen. He is an industry expert with over 20 years of wide-ranging experience. He is trustworthy, thoughtful, and has integrity in spades.”


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