NKG PACE Offers Educational Series to All


In the spirit of making access to coffee education more readily available, NKG PACE is hosting three educational talks that will be open to anyone in the industry.


Equality-driven coffee education program NKG PACE is hosting a series of three open-access online events over the next three months, designed to foster professional development and knowledge-sharing, especially among BIPOC in the coffee industry.

NKG Group CEO David Neumann (left) and Phyllis Johnson of the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE) and BD Imports. Photo courtesy of NKG PACE.


NKG PACE (Partnership to Advance Coffee Equity) is a program developed by the well-known Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, a globally operated green-coffee service group. It was inspired by Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE) founder Phyllis Johnson’s “Open Letter to The US Coffee Industry on Racism.“ “Black Americans and the world are in desperate need of change that requires your participation. I commit to helping build a coalition of industry stakeholders who will take concrete steps to move our industry and the nation forward. Please consider joining me,” Phyllis urged in her letter. It struck a chord in the industry, and NKG PACE is just one response to this call for racial equity.

NKG PACE is structured as a paid one-year green-coffee education program, specifically designed to improve racial equity in the coffee industry. The program kicked off in May 2022. Each year, three Black American coffee professionals are selected to complete the program to help launch green-coffee careers and diversify the upper-level professional coffee sector.

The first partners of the NKG PACE program, from left: Jayy Terrell, Porttia Portis, and Charles Umeano. Photo courtesy of NKG PACE.

Education for All

In keeping with this spirit, the Open-Access Series will follow the monthly themes of the NKG PACE curriculum. The online lecture series will feature NKG colleagues from around the globe, as well as other coffee experts. Speakers will cover topics like coffee cupping, sustainability, farm management, and green-coffee buying.

“When it comes to learning about the supply chain that precedes roasting, it can be intimidating, and costly, to find serious learning opportunities. Nearly everyone we interviewed during the most recent application process mentioned this,” said NKG PACE Education Lead Amanda Armbrust-Asselin in a press release. “We took that feedback to heart and considered how we could open up the program’s curriculum to benefit more individuals alongside each NKG PACE cohort.”

The first Open-Access Series installment will take a deep dive into the intricacies of coffee processing. Photo courtesy of NKG PACE.

Open-Access Series Dates and Topics

The first event, on July 10, will be “The Power of Processing,“ covering the ins and outs of coffee processing, including how it can improve coffee quality, and the costs and risks involved. Speakers for this event include Gloria Pedroza, head of quality at NKG Quality Service in Switzerland; Diego Guardia, a third-generation coffee producer and trader at NKG exporter Ceca in Costa Rica; and Camila Khalife, an Ecuador-based coffee consultant and the impact & communications lead with The Chain Collaborative.

2024-2025 NKG PACE partners Zion Brown (left) and Jasmin Mitchell. Photo courtesy of NKG PACE.

August 8 will be the second event: “How ’Coffee Works’ In Different Producing Countries.“ This session will feature NKG colleagues who handle coffee purchasing in various countries, discussing how coffee is moved from farm to port, and all the players involved in that complicated process, which varies from place to place.

Finally, the third event will take place on September 25. “The Long Journey: Understanding Logistics“ will provide a large-scale perspective on how coffee moves, how logistics have changed since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what sorts of coffee jobs are available in this area.

The Open-Access Series is open to everyone. Want to learn more or RSVP? Check out the details on the NKG PACE website here.


J. Marie Carlan (she/they) is the online editor for Barista Magazine. She’s been a barista for 16 years and writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. When she’s not behind the espresso bar or toiling over content, you can find her perusing record stores, writing poetry, and trying to keep the plants alive in her Denver apartment.

Cover of June + July 2024 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Mikael Jasin of Indonesia.Cover of June + July 2024 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Mikael Jasin of Indonesia.

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Source: Barista Magazine

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