WCR creates new membership category for B2B roasters
Update to make membership more equitable, transparent, and achievable
In March, World Coffee Research’s (WCR) Board of Directors approved a new business category for its membership fee structure dedicated to business-to-business (B2B) roasters. The organization defines B2B roasters as those companies with a primary business activity (>95% of business volume) of roasting/manufacturing coffee for third parties. Typically, the brand of these companies is invisible to the end consumer of the coffee; they may be referred to as “private label,” “own label,” “white label,” “toll/contract,” “food service,” or “wholesale roasters.”
This update comes on the heels of the 2022 launch of WCR’s revised membership model, which seeks to make membership more equitable, transparent, and achievable for different business categories across the supply chain. Before implementing the new membership category, WCR assessed how B2B businesses operate and benchmarked how other member organizations treat this business category. WCR concluded that the difference between B2B roasters and brand (i.e., consumer-facing) roasters is significant enough to warrant a differentiated category in WCR’s membership fee structure. This shift is driven by one of WCR’s core principles that every company within the coffee value stream—those that depend on the crop’s sustainable production and supply—should be able to support agricultural research and development (R&D) by becoming members.
"We strive for continuous improvement in all facets of our organization, and this is a prime example of giving careful consideration and diligently responding to feedback from our industry.”
“I am delighted that WCR’s board approved this new business category and has made it feasible for B2B roasters/manufacturers to join in this collective investment and actively participate in ensuring the future of coffee,” said Alexa Heinicke, Sr. Corporate Membership Manager, “We strive for continuous improvement in all facets of our organization, and this is a prime example of giving careful consideration and diligently responding to feedback from our industry.”
While many roasters operate via a hybrid model with both brand and private/own-label business, the new membership category applies only to B2B roasters with operations dedicated solely to roasting/manufacturing for third parties. WCR looks forward to making membership more accessible for these businesses and invites any current member that is operating in this pure-play manner to contact its fundraising team and review where they may fit into the newly updated membership structure.
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