USA: Starbucks Coffee Company responds to the plight of coffee farmers
"In a time when coffee farmers around the world are struggling to support their families and keep their farms, coffee companies like Starbucks need to take a leadership role in helping to stabilize this unfortunate, and in some cases life-threatening, situation in coffee growing regions," said Orin Smith, president and ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company. "Our $1 million investment through Calvert Community Investments and purchase of 1 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified coffee will, we hope, provide much-needed funds for impoverished coffee farming communities."
The $1 million in financial support will be directed through Calvert Social Investment Foundations to coffee farmers for their use in quality improvements, capital investments, and micro enterprise and/or credit at fair rates, which will enable them to improve their standard of living and provide better lives for their families. The Calvert Foundation (www.CalvertFoundation.org) places capital to provide microcredit, finance small business needs, and fund community development for communities in need, domestically and around the world.
The expansion of the Fair Trade Certified coffee program will include three initiatives. During the next 12 to 18 months, Starbucks will purchase 1 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified green coffee that meets Starbucks quality standards.
As a result of this purchase, Starbucks will begin a conversion incentive to college and university accounts to encourage the use of Fair Trade Certified drip coffee as their "core" offering in January 2002. As a part of this specific program, Starbucks will continue to sell Fair Trade Certified coffee at no price premium to accounts that have converted.
Additionally, Starbucks will offer Fair Trade Certified coffee as "Coffee of the Day" on the 20th of each month, beginning in spring 2002 in all its company-owned stores in the U.S. Fair Trade Certified coffee is already available in more than 2,900 company-owned retail stores across the United States, further highlighting the Company's commitment to improving the lives of farmers in origin countries. The offer will be promoted through marketing materials in each location, and retail stores will have adequate inventory of Fair Trade Certified whole bean coffee to support the increased awareness.
Finally, Starbucks hopes to begin offering Fair Trade Certified coffee in some of the international markets where it does business and in Canada in early 2002.
"We are pleased to expand the Fair Trade program and launch a conversion incentive for our college and university accounts," said Smith. "These actions will further increase consumer awareness of the Fair Trade coffee movement and benefits to farmers who produce these coffees."
Starbucks sells and builds awareness of Fair Trade Certified coffee as an important part of a broader effort to improve the lives of coffee farmers and their families. Starbucks continues its efforts with organizations that are helping coffee farmers and their families through its support of Conservation International, CARE and other similar organizations. As part of Starbucks "Commitment to Origins" line of coffees, Starbucks sells Fair Trade Certified coffee and Shade Grown Mexico coffee, a product of the Company's collaboration with Conservation International.
Starbucks Fair Trade Certified coffee is sold year round for $11.45 per pound at retail stores across the United States and at Starbucks.com. The coffee is a balanced light-to-medium bodied blend of Latin American coffees. It is one of the offerings in Starbucks "Commitment to Origins" category, which includes shade grown, organic and Fair Trade coffee selections.
Starbucks Coffee Company and TransFair USA (www.transfairusa.org), a third-party certification organization, formed an alliance in April 2000 whereby Starbucks committed to promoting and selling Fair Trade Certified coffee through its U.S. retail stores and online through Starbucks.com. TransFair USA ensures farmers who sell Fair Trade Certified products receive a guaranteed minimum price for their harvest. Starbucks began selling Fair Trade Certified coffee in U.S. stores on October 4, 2000. Shortly thereafter, Starbucks began offering Fair Trade Coffee to colleges and universities and more recently to hotel, restaurant, hospital and corporate business accounts.
Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in North America, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim, Starbucks sells coffee and tea products through its specialty operations, including its online store at Starbucks.com. Additionally, Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company's other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products: Tazo Tea Company offers a line of innovative premium teas, and Hear Music produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.
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