Due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including current restrictions in Victoria and state border closures, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), have made the difficult decision to postpone the judging of the 2021 Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA).
Having received a record number of entries, the 2021 AICA was scheduled to commence judging in Melbourne on Monday 9 August, with judges from around the country assembling at Melbourne Showgrounds to assess the 850+ entries. However, current restrictions and state border closures mean this is not possible.
Brad Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria said the health and wellbeing of those involved has driven this decision.
“The health of AICA judges, stewards and staff is the highest priority of the RASV and in the current climate, postponing the event to a later date is believed to be the best option for all involved and will ensure that the awards continue to be delivered to the highest possible standard,” said Brad.
The decision to postpone the Awards was made in consultation with the AICA Industry Advisory Group, with group member and head judge Melissa Caia supporting the decision to postpone until later in 2021.
“Postponing the judging of the Australian International Coffee Awards will ensure that all stakeholders including the judges, stewards and baristas will be comfortable participating in a COVID-safe event,” said Melissa.
All fully paid exhibitors have the option to remain entered in the Awards until a suitable date for judging is announced or to have their entry fees refunded and re-enter at a later date.
Exhibitors that have entered the Awards can indicate their preference on the RASV website by completing a postponement option form.
Mr Jenkins was thrilled to have the support of roasteries and the coffee industry from Australia and the world and advised updates will be shared when more information becomes available.
“We appreciate the incredible support of the Australian International Coffee Awards from roasters, baristas and coffee industry groups that has led to a terrific increase in participation this year.”
“We will ensure that all exhibitors are kept informed of the new judging dates when official precautionary actions regarding mass gatherings and the COVID-19 response becomes clearer,” said Brad.
Judged by a discerning panel of internationally accredited experts and leading Australian coffee roasters, the Australian International Coffee Awards provide coffee roasters with opportunities to benchmark their product, receive industry recognition, and promote the quality of their product to retailers and consumers alike.