CHARLBURY, UK – The British Coffee Association (BCA), has appointed Thomas Blackwall from Finlays as the Association’s new Chair. Thomas has stepped into the leadership role within the UK coffee industry to help continue the Association’s significant sustainability mission as well as help drive new initiatives for members and expand the Association to represent the growing breadth of UK coffee, which contributes £17.7 billion each year to the UK economy.
The Chair will support the industry through the next phase of Brexit negotiations. The challenges faced by UK industry from Brexit are hugely significant, on issues including trade, imposition of tariffs, and labour movement.
For these reasons the BCA has taken a leading stance on calling on the government to take ‘no deal’ off the table and provide greater certainty for UK businesses who currently have very little guidance on how Brexit will impact the UK.
Thomas is the Global Head of Coffee at Finlays, where he has worked for over 13 years, supervising green coffee procurement, product development and driving the sustainable sourcing agenda across Finlays’ global network. Finlay Beverages is one of the largest coffee roasters in the UK.
Commenting on his appointment, Thomas said “I am hugely honoured to take up this leadership position for the UK coffee industry and BCA. The BCA is the voice of our industry actively promoting and defending all tiers of the coffee sector responsibly across all of the key issues facing us.
The Association has made huge strides in fostering a collaborative environment for the industry on sustainability and technical issues and I look forward to continuing and furthering that important work whilst driving us forward into new strategic areas to grow the Association.
I am also passionate about bringing more of the young, dynamic, and innovative businesses into the Association as many of these companies represent the future of coffee and collaboration with them is paramount.”
Thomas Blackwall will replace Ian Bryson, also from Finlays, as Chair following two years in the role and which has seen the BCA establish itself across sustainability issues by publishing a detailed review of circularity across the coffee supply chain and provide a framework of seven coffee industry goals to drive a sustainable circular coffee economy. Thomas will work closely with BCA Sustainability Committee Co-Chairs, Krisztina Szalai from Taylors of Harrogate and Victoria Moorhouse of Costa Coffee, to continue momentum and enhance collaboration opportunities further.
The BCA will also continue to develop its highly active work in engaging with UK government and the national media on issues such as waste, the circular economy, and Brexit.