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July | August 2020

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When Roast’s January/February issue was released earlier this year, we were optimistic and excited about debuting our magazine’s fresh new branding. We were heading into our first-ever event, Roast Summit, which we hosted in January along with Buckman Coffee Factory in Portland, Oregon. Coffee roasters from near and far convened to talk about all things coffee; we explored a variety of important issues and challenges for our industry.

While we were pondering solutions and discussing possible ways forward as a community, the threat of a global pandemic was lurking around the corner. Just a short time later, we would come to realize the gravity of the situation. We were asked to remain home—to “flatten the curve” and save lives as governments around the world scrambled to steel their nation against the virus. The impact that this had on the coffee industry was swift, and has been devastating to watch unfold.

As we put the final touches on this issue, the world feels like an entirely different place now than it was six months ago. Our last two issues have not been published under “normal” circumstances, and it has been difficult to navigate with things evolving so rapidly. However, one could argue—and many have—that things we considered “normal” were never “fair.” The issues that we discussed at our inaugural Roast Summit are still very much clear and present dangers to our industry—and the pandemic has exacerbated these threats in many ways.

On the heels of this global crisis, in the week prior to this writing the world turned its attention to the fight against systemic racism, as protests erupted in the United States following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, and in the name of too many other Black men and women who have faced the same fate. We stand in solidarity with those who are speaking out against these injustices and we are committed to remaining engaged in this important dialog, as it relates to coffee and beyond.

We will also continue to shine a light on areas where we feel there is good work and innovation happening in coffee, share research that will be of value to you and your business, provide tools and resources to help ensure your success in coffee, in addition to amplifying voices that will allow us all to consider our worldviews from a different perspective.

It may feel like things are falling to pieces right now, but perhaps we needed to break out of our idea of “normal” and consider how we can put the pieces back together again in a way that makes our world—and the coffee industry—a better place for everyone.

—The Team at Roast

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