Baking Company Hosts Competition Barring White Participants

The winner of the competition will be entitled to a $10,000 cash prize but only those designated as 'people of color' are allowed to compete
PEMBROKE, NH - OCTOBER 14: Some of the 15,000 cases of King Arthur's Flour on hand Associated Grocers of New England, Inc., a supplier for independent stores around the region, at the warehouse in Pembroke, NH on Oct. 14, 2020.
(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

A Vermont-based baking company is under fire for hosting a competition that barred white contestants from participating, an attempt to “foster greater inclusivity” in the world of baking.

The 2024 Baking Pitchfest, hosted by King Arthur Baking, says it will provide “equitable opportunities for People of Color entrepreneurs,” gracing the winners with “financial support, brand exposure, and mentorship to help accelerate their businesses.”

The competition is billed as an “accelerator program,” and will consist of two parts, a product edition and a bakery edition, which are limited to those defined as a “person of color led business” and a “person of color led bakery” respectively.

Winners of the baking edition will receive a grand prize of $10,000, “brand-building exposure through features on King Arthur Baking marketing,” as well as one-on-one business consulting and a free membership to the Bread Bakers Guild of America.

King Arthur Flour specifies their use of the term “POC” or “people of color,” explaining that the phrase is “defined as Asian or Pacific Islander; Black or African American; Hispanic or Latinx; Indigenous or Native American; Middle Eastern or North African.”

King Arthur appeared to take down the page advertising the contest following an inquiry from The Daily Wire.

The competition comes as institutions across the country, from multi-billion dollar corporations to Ivy League universities, embrace the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda, adopting discriminatory practices and policies in the name of anti-racism.

“Pitchfest 2024 is a testament to our commitment to fostering a more inclusive baking community and empowering creative POC leaders in the industry,” King Arthur Baking’s corporate social responsibility manager Molly Lawerence remarked.

King Arthur Flour is hosting the competition in cooperation with Project Potluck, which refers to itself as “the largest professional community inclusively for People of Color (POC) in Consumer Packaged Goods.” Business Insider praised the organization’s attempts at “lifting up minorities in the overwhelmingly white consumer goods and food industry.”

Project Potluck also decries the status of the industry on its website, remarking that “founders, leaders and professionals are overwhelmingly white” but reassuring that “we are here to change that.”

“Baking Pitchfest 2024 is more than a competition; it’s a platform for empowering People of Color to break barriers and redefine the narrative in baking,” the organization’s executive director Kathleen Casanova stated.

King Arthur Baking and the Baking Pitchfest have since been blasted online by customers, with one former customer going viral after saying she would no longer be buying flour from the company.

King Arthur Baking did not respond to a request for comment.

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