"We are motivated by our work with a natural product"
In 2005 the Neumann family founded the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS).
"We believe in sustainable development and are convinced that we should therefore treat environmental, social and economic factors in an integrated manner," says Michael R. Neumann, Chairman of the foundation´s Board of Trustees. " Our concern for people and the environment begins on our doorstep and extends to all regions and countries where coffee is grown. That is why a major part of our activities are conducted in coffee areas and are concerned with improving the competitiveness and the living conditions of smallholder coffee farmers."
It is for good reason that Hanns R. Neumann, merchant and founder of the parent company of Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, was chosen as the eponym for the foundation. In his opinion, a business was only a good business when every party involved benefitted.
In particular, the coffee business environment is changing rapidly, presenting huge challenges for all involved. These developments require a through and forward-looking structure in order to work towards achieving equal opportunities. While demand is growing, coffee faces increasing competition for scarce land from food crops and biofuels. Population growth and climate change will further add to the challenge of limited resources. At the same time we are far from meeting the UN Millenium Development goals, specifically the vision of halving poverty by 2015. In fact, this is the case in many coffee growing areas.
After venturing into project work with the establishment of E.D.E. Consulting in 1991 and in view of the complexity of related action, the Neumann family decided to pool further efforts in the promotion of sustainable development into the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung. As a professional and long-term oriented structure, our foundation maintains a special relationship with Neumann Gruppe and all the operative companies of the group. However, a certain distance is maintained in relation to the project work itself.
Improving the prospects for under-privileged coffee producers is the particular focus of our activities. However, it is equally important to create a wider awareness of the conditions and opportunities of farmers and their families, together with the need to conserve the environment and protect endangered natural resources. In order to reach larger numbers of beneficiaries we endeavour to scale up project experiences, roll out sustainable practices and thereby contribute to the implementation of change processes in the communities and countries we operate in.