Neumann Kaffee Gruppe introduces Partnership to Advance Coffee Equity NKG PACE
July 8, 2021
Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG), the world’s leading green coffee services group, and the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE), a U.S.-based non-profit driven to bring equity and diversity into the coffee community, introduced the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe Partnership to Advance Coffee Equity (NKG PACE).
NKG PACE will offer Black Americans — a group that experiences the largest gap in employment and decision-making roles in the U.S. coffee industry — opportunities to become green-coffee quality specialists. NKG PACE is a paid, one-year, Quality Control focused program through which the three Neumann Gruppe USA (NGUS) companies — Atlas Coffee Importers, InterAmerican Coffee and Rothfos Corporation — will share their deep knowledge of the green-coffee industry, with the intention of growing diversity internally and in the U.S. coffee industry.
NKG PACE Partners – three per program cycle starting in January 2022 – will learn to manage a QC lab, cup and grade many kinds of coffee, receive and share samples, maintain an inventory system, analyze green coffee and become familiar with annual global coffee offerings. They’ll also engage with all departments and activities at the NGUS offices, for a full understanding of the coffee supply chain, and be professionally supported and encouraged through a mentorship program provided by CCRE.
“Last summer, a new sense of urgency regarding racial inequities in the United States led us to intense and fruitful discussions. The result, after months of discussions, ideas and more discussions, was NKG PACE,” said David M. Neumann, CEO of Neumann Gruppe GmbH. “NKG unconditionally embraces diversity in our business and depends on it for its success. At the same time, we understand that we can and need to learn and do more, as a worldwide group of coffee merchants intent on playing a role in making the coffee business more equitable and inclusive, from mountaintop to tabletop.”
Developed jointly by NKG and CCRE, NKG PACE was created in close collaboration. Both are delighted to have the globally respected Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) joining the effort as an ally on the program’s educational curriculum. “Access to education has historically been a way to either enable racial equity or to thwart it,” said Coffee Quality Institute Chief Executive Officer Tina Yerkes, PhD. “Ensuring access is a significant new focus for us. CQI offers education and certification that is recognized globally, and we are happy to provide a pathway to improve representation in the coffee industry.”
NKG PACE is funded by NKG. After the inaugural year, the program will be open to coffee-industry sponsors, who may contribute funding or educational opportunities.