For Immediate Release
Phyllis Johnson Elected to Board of Directors of the Specialty Coffee Association of America
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS May 5, 2006 — The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has elected Phyllis Johnson, Founder and President of BD Imports, to its Board of Directors. The SCAA is the world's largest coffee trade association with more than 3,000 company members. The organization is committed to improving quality and creating a sustainable marketplace and as a Board Member, Ms. Johnson will help to develop projects and initiatives that support that vision.
As part of her board duties, Ms. Johnson will serve as the Chairperson of the Sustainability Committee whose purpose is to advocate issues of sustainability and serve as a resource on sustainable business conduct in coffee commerce. This work is even more timely as the SCAA signed on to the United Nations Global Compact in 2004 which provides companies with nine principles to adhere to that help promote the core values outlined by the UN as well as minimize the impact of their own business operations. While Ms. Johnson acknowledges that many within the industry are currently upholding these standards, she recognizes the opportunity for continual improvement and looks forward to leading the industry into more socially responsible business practices.
Another opportunity Ms. Johnson has identified is bringing more attention to Africa as a producing country. She recognizes that, up until recently, the industry has been more focused on Central and South American coffees and it is important to develop a more global perspective. Ms. Johnson has focused her business on African coffees and she believes Africa is vitally important to the industry in order to meet increasing consumer demand for higher quality coffee. In addition, she recognizes the positive economic and social impact increased trade will have on several African countries whose economies are largely dependent on coffee production. "There is an opportunity to not only introduce consumers to some really exceptional coffees, but to make a huge difference with the millions of people who produce coffee", commented Ms. Johnson.
Ms. Johnson has been an active member of the industry since founding her company in 1999. With experience in purchasing, sales, and marketing, she now focuses most of her time building relationships at origin and with the company's growing customer base. She has served as a Coffee Corps® volunteer in Kenya and has spoken at numerous conferences. She is currently involved in a project to help promote sustainability and bring awareness to farmers in Ethiopia. "Phyllis has long been recognized as a leader in our industry because of her track record in promoting socially responsible business practices and her tireless passion in giving back to the industry as a volunteer, mentor, and an instrument of change. The organization will truly benefit from her service", from Rob Stephen, President of the SCAA Board of Directors and Founder and President of Coffee Solutions.
ABOUT BD IMPORTS, INC.
BD Imports was founded in 1999 by Phyllis Johnson and Patrick Johnson and serves as the premier importer and marketer of specialty grade coffees from Africa. BD Imports was one of the first US importers to visit Rwanda and offer its fully washed coffee to the marketplace. The company imports fine coffees for some of the most discerning coffee roasters in the world, while creating lasting relationships at origin and practicing socio-economic responsibility. BD Imports exclusively owns the Evolution brand of specialty grade roasted coffees found in upscale gift boutiques, restaurants, and grocery stores. BD Imports is a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), Transfair USA, and The Roasters Guild.
BD Imports...redefining coffee from origin to cup.
Patrick Johnson, Vice President and Co-Founder