• July 24, 2024

Baking Company In Hot Water After Barring White Contestants From Entering Grand Prize Contest…

 

A Vermont-based baking company faces criticism for organizing a competition that excluded white contestants, purportedly to promote inclusivity in the baking world.

The 2024 Baking Pitchfest by King Arthur Baking aims to offer “equitable opportunities for People of Color entrepreneurs,” providing winners with financial support, brand exposure, and mentorship. The accelerator program comprises two parts, a product edition and a bakery edition, exclusive to “person of color led businesses” and “person of color led bakeries” respectively.

Baking edition winners stand to receive a $10,000 grand prize, brand exposure through King Arthur Baking marketing features, one-on-one business consulting, and a free membership to the Bread Bakers Guild of America. King Arthur Flour defines “people of color” as Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Indigenous or Native American, Middle Eastern or North African.

Following an inquiry from The Daily Wire, King Arthur seemingly removed the contest page. The move raises questions about the company’s response to scrutiny. This competition aligns with a broader trend where various institutions adopt discriminatory practices under the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

King Arthur Baking’s corporate social responsibility manager, Molly Lawerence, sees Pitchfest 2024 as a commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowering creative POC leaders in the baking industry. The collaboration with Project Potluck, described as the largest professional community for People of Color (POC) in Consumer Packaged Goods, emphasizes lifting minorities in the predominantly white consumer goods and food industry.

Project Potluck acknowledges the industry’s overwhelmingly white leadership but expresses its mission to change this status quo. The Baking Pitchfest is portrayed as more than a competition – a platform empowering People of Color to break barriers and redefine the narrative in baking, according to Kathleen Casanova, the organization’s executive director.

Online backlash ensued, with customers expressing discontent towards King Arthur Baking and the Baking Pitchfest. A viral statement from a former customer announcing the decision to stop buying flour from the company reflects the potential impact on the company’s reputation. The controversy underscores the challenges and debates surrounding initiatives framed as promoting inclusivity while employing exclusionary practices.

The Daily Allegiant