First of all I would like to give my respects to Mr. Ueshima from UCC; the world’s leading coffee company, who was the first president of this association, and to Mr. Hayashi, the former president, who has engaged in various supporting activities for coffee producing countries as well as introducing the specialty coffee movement in Japan. I sincerely appreciate being given a wonderful opportunity to accept the post of president from such predecessors. Having said so, I myself have benefited in many ways from being positively involved in the Association’s activities. Above all, such achievements have been made due to the cooperation and support from all the SCAJ members, participating parties and members of the board. I will do my best to reward such support as the president, yet your further support and cooperation are sought for the future. Let’s work together to enhance the activities so as to be beneficial to all of us.
In 1968 I opened my coffee shop inTokyo. Since then, I have carefully served every cup of coffee for my customers. Compared to the previous internationally renowned presidents, the new president is rather locally-based. Thanks to the leadership and accomplishments of the former presidents, I could catch up with the global movement of specialty coffee and also acquire wonderful coffees. Through the Association’s various activities I have learned how coffee producers and the areas have changed. It enabled me, someone who serves coffee at the end of the coffee chain, to share the same value of Specialty Coffee with the estate farmers in coffee producing countries who are at the headwaters of a stream called traceability.
In the same way as most of the members, I also work face-to-face for my customers on a daily basis. As far as my customers are concerned, I do thinkJapanhas not recovered from economic recession yet. Under such circumstances I question myself “how can I deliver the specialty coffee that keeps wonderful taste and flavor at a reasonable price to my customers?”, and “how can I convey the knowledge and information I have acquired to my clients in a touching way?” Even now, I still spend my days sharing the excellence of coffee with my customers. As a result, I, as an entrepreneur of a small business, came to be able to share the same value called Specialty Coffee with my customers through continuous effort.
Thus, my experience is limited and poor. However, I believe we can promote specialty coffee further if each member could share their own experience with other members through the activities of the association.
As the president, I present the targets as below. I truly appreciate cooperation from all the members and parties involved.
- Increasing the number of members and activating members’ involvement in association activities: The association will pursue seminars to promote our activities to those unfamiliar with the association and to gain as many supporters as possible.
- Carrying out seminars to deepen the understanding of specialty coffee: Currently, we promote specialty coffee through organizing cupping seminars to share the same standard of quality and sensory standards and running “Coffee Meister training course” for sales professionals. We are now considering enriching the contents of the seminars and coordinating seminars for intermediate to advanced level as well as building a qualification system for higher levels.
- A successful exhibition and championships: Over the past few years, the association came to be renowned by organizing various championships such as the Japan Barista Championship. I am amazed to see the skills of the competitors that improve every year. At the same time, I am greatly inspired when I witness people from different generations in the industry come together and show enthusiasm in the competitions, and I also feel a big hope for the future. The main stage for such competitions is the association’s annual exhibition, and thus the exhibition’s success is a must for a successful competition. The sponsors’ and the exhibitors’ support are essential to the exhibition. We seek your generous cooperation for a successful exhibition and boost for the competitions.
- In 2013 Specialty Coffee Association of Japan reaches its 10th anniversary since its inauguration in 2003. We will continue to promote expansion of the specialty coffee market by utilizing the accumulation gained over the last decade while we start considering ceremonial activities looking ahead to the coming 10 years.
I will continue serving tasty specialty coffee and making my best effort to promote the understanding of specialty coffee among the customers and to cultivate their sensory advancement by doing so. I am so happy if the experience of mine could contribute to the association in any way. Please see and talk to me without constraint. Let us cooperate, hand-in-hand, to promote and illuminate specialty coffee in the field given to each of us. I look forward to your active participation and cooperation in the association’s activities.
Specialty Coffee Association of Japan