Responsibly grown, ethically traded coffee means working with farmers to produce coffee in ways that help provide benefits to their business, their communities and the environment.
Our long-term success is linked to the success of the thousands of farmers who grow our coffee. That’s why we invest in loan programs for coffee-growing communities and work onsite with farmers to help improve coffee quality. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do for our business. By helping to sustain coffee farmers and strengthen farming communities, we ensure a healthy supply of high-quality coffee going forward.
We plan to increase our farmer loan commitment to $20 million and provide farmers with incentives to reduce the environmental impact of coffee production.
What We’ve Been Doing
Starbucks has established Farmer Support Centres in Costa Rica and Rwanda to provide local farmers with resources and expertise to help lower the cost of production, reduce fungus infections, improve coffee quality and increase the production of premium coffee.
Locations of Starbucks Farmer Support Centres:
San Jose, Costa Rica – opened 2004
The agronomists cover Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, South America and China.
Kigali, Rwanda – opened 2009
Mbeya, Tanzania – started ground operations in 2011
New South America location (Minas Gerais, Brazil) – opened 2012
Yunnan, China – opened 2012
During the growing and harvest cycles, many coffee farmers dip into their limited reserves to cover expenses until they can sell their crops. Some farmers may even experience a cash shortage, prompting them to sell their crops early – and for less – to local buyers.
The Starbucks Farmer Loans program is an alternative for co-ops that cannot access traditional funding channels. It aims to provide financial resources to cooperatives to fulfil their cash flow needs during harvest time, and to make infrastructure investments that result in better competitiveness.
In FY11, over 45,000 farmers in seven countries benefited from our work with the third-party organisations ROOT Capital, Verde Ventures and Calvert Foundation. We are working hard towards delivering U.S. $20 million to these programs.