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Neumann Kaffee Gruppe brings producers and consumers together.

Neumann Kaffee Gruppe brings producers and consumers together

In 1922, Bernhard Rothfos founded a trading business in Bremen. Three years later, offices were moved to Hamburg. Rothfos developed the company into a leading coffee merchant, its stedy progress interrupted only by the Second World War. His drive, imagination and commitment to the commodity coffee earned Rothfos unequivocal respect at international level. Today, Bernhard Rothfos is honorary chairman of the Supervisory Board of Neumann Gruppe AG.

Hanns R. Neumann originally came from Breslau, where his family owned a traditional trading house. After several years in the Hamburg coffee trade, Neumann began to operate as a coffee broker under his own name in 1934. Since the 1950's, the firm steadily developed into one of the leading agencies in Europe. Under the direction of the founder's son, HannsJustus and Michael R. Neumann, the activities of the company grew to include a flourishing principal business and experienced a rapid expansion in the 70's and 80's.

In 1988, Bernhard Rothfos AG was taken over by Michael R. Neumann. With the integration of the two traditional companies in the Hamburg freeport, the most important green coffee trading group in the world was created.

During 1988 and 1989, the conceptual as well as the operational organizations of the globally oriented group of companies were fundamentally restructured and updated. The holding company Neumann Gruppe AG was created to form a link between the individual members. Numerous benefits accrue both internally and externally from this relationship. The companies within the group can take advantage of the many services provided by the Neumann Gruppe AG while retaining their individual identity and considerable freedom to act.

At the same time, the assets and traditions of the Hamburg parent companies are not put at risk in any way. Indeed, the new concept behind the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe tends to reinforce and develop this heritage. Both Rothfos and Neumann appreciated above all the product they traded and, each in his way, staked their names on consistency and integrity in their dealings with clients, partners and employees. As a result, the companies of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe enjoy a high level of trust and confidence. To preserve and maintain these values is the foremost priority of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe. Indeed, it is the only solid foundation for a secure future.

Trade - a Reconciliation of Different Interests

The Neumann Kaffee Gruppe is decentralized in its organization. The parent company is the Neumann Gruppe AG which functions as a strategic management and service unit. It lends equal support to each profit center within the group. Based on general coordination, entrepreneurial initiative and individual effort are actively encoureaged. An open management style coupled with active internal and external communication are intended to stimulate creativity and produce an ideal balance between group synergy and local strength by means of on-the-spot responsibility of each member company. The Neumann Gruppe AG will transform financial prosperity into qualitative growth, thus guaranteeing vitality for the group in the long-term.

A small number of basic commitments ensure the future performance of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe:

* Coffee is the group's sole product. All activities revolve around the coffee business. This specialization - and consequent concentration of resources - is the source of the exemplary know-how and unparalleled competence of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe. It also helps to develop a cooperative approach towards coffee-producing countries and clients in the industry. It is therefore quite natural that the trading function of the group encompasses a broad range of services.

* Forward-thinking and long-term benefits are given priority over fast-dealing and opportunism. This makes business integrity imperative while conscientously conducting relations with both the producing countries and consumer clients in a spirit of cooperation. All products and services, as well as the group's image in the market, are distinguished by scrupulous quality and stand up to constant reappraisal. The companies in the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe seek a constructive dialogue with their competitors - insofar as there is some degree of compatibility in terms of basic philosophy and corporate values.

* The Neumann Kaffee Gruppe acknowledges its commitment towards its personnel. Employees shall enjoy every opportunity to develop their individual skills and talents within the scope of each company of the group. It is in each member's own interest to actively encourage the full development of staff capabilities, thus engendering a high degree of individual identification with the aims of the group and thereby the long-term optimization of its performance.

* The Neumann Kaffee Gruppe consistently strives to reconcile the apparent conflict of interests between the producer countries and the consumers. No effort is spared and every influence is used in this respect. It is a basic belief of the group that it should mediate between producers, the processing industry and consumers, seeking at all costs to avoid confrontation.

Corporate Strength - the Sum of Vital Individual Companies

Each individual operative company within the group is managed as an independent profit center with the purpose of consolidating business, strengthening its market position and extending its influence. In many cases, the local director is also a partner in the company he manages. Depending upon local circumstances and historical development, he is a minority shareholder or in a few exceptional cases may even hold a majority.

The collaboration of the various operative companies within the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe is not carried out on an exclusive basis, but relies on cooperation and team spirit. Trading activities are marked by mutual preferential treatment, even though market competitivity is strictly required of each member in the long-term. The development of joint concepts, especially in the quality sector, but also in areas such as logistics, trading techniques, financing and client relations, helps to encourage consistent cooperation. An open exchange of information creates a world-wide communication network which gives group members a competitive advantage on their local market. In general terms, a mutual readiness to assist each other works in the interest of each individual company as well as that of Neumann Gruppe AG. It facilitates the best possible market positioning of all members vis-a-vis third parties in both producer and consumer countries.

Neumann Gruppe AG supports the individual companies in both word and deed. It helps to develop strategy, to coordinate vital matters of management, to generate regular information within the group, to optimize risk management; to perfect internal controls and to cultivate important business contacts. In general, the holding company provides constructive conceptual advice as well as ad hoc assistance in case of practical problems. Important areas of innovation are group financing, technology sharing in numerous fields, the development of new trading instruments and the pooling of world-wide service packages.

The group thus provides decentralized management structures of the operative companies with the intelligent kind of back-up to improve independent decision-making. In turn, the members furnish their parent company with regular in-house reports and market analyses, thus making it possible for Neumann Gruppe AG to fulfill its synergistic functions.

The guiding principle of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe is to provide business partners with the best possible products, services and concepts, and maintain its leading position on the basis of fair competitive practice. In this way, it hopes to reinforce the trust of the coffee producing countries and the roasting industry in the companies of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe.

In order to achieve this goal, the group continues to offer its singular product know-how, absolute contractual fidelity, constant dedication to the interests and needs to business partners as well as individuality and flexibility when seeking solutions to commercial problems.

Dependability and competence coupled with a permanet process of critical self-appraisal of their own professionalism are the means by which the companies of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe retain the confidence of the market and continue to strengthen their competitive position.

Commerce - a Service Industry

The needs of the producing countries on the one hand, and those of the industry on the other, hardly ever coincide. Requirements as to quality, transaction timing, financing and risk taking, to name but a few, are seldom compatible. This is where the companies of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe smooth the way. Due to the sophisticated use of all the market tools at its disposal and the large volumes it trades, it is normally possible to serve the needs of both sides to full satisfaction. A guiding principal of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe is to be a reliable and consistent participant in the world market, both as purchaser and supplier.

All the technical instruments of the trade receive minute attention, but never to the detriment of physical coffee trading. The emphasis on service means that in consuming countries, the individual members of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe can realize their potential more effectively when supplying the coffee-processing industry than when trading with green coffee resellers. The group will never attempt to manipulate markets, but will constantly be found as active participants in them.

A selection of service functions to be adapted to individual requirements includes:

* Assumption and management of all relevant risk.

* Broad-based information and regular advice on fundamental and technical aspects of the market, quality standards, financing, etc.

* Quality assurance: Quality maintainance, development, control and warranty in virtually all producing countries.

* Logistics: Shipping, chartering, innovative packaging and transport by sea and land.

* Blending and bulking of green coffee ready for roasting.

* Decaffeination and other processes.

* Financing and currency conversion, insurance and prevention of damages.

Above all, continuity is the prime objective in client relations, which is carried out in a fair and loyal manner in the spirit of true business partnership.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Neumann Gruppe AG, coffee broker
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Article Type:company profile
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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