History in the Making

I’ve recently returned from a trip to China where Starbucks signed two historic Memoranda of Understanding to invest in growing high-quality coffee in Yunnan province. We’ll be collaborating with the People’s Government of Pu’er City (Yunnan Province) and the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences. These agreements signal cooperation between Starbucks and China to revolutionize the Chinese coffee market and help local farmers there grow new, high-quality coffees that are sure to be prized throughout the world.

Although we will continue to buy coffees from many countries, this opportunity allows us to help build China’s specialty coffee market from scratch. We’ll open another Farmer Support Center, manage a base farm to grow coffee for production and create a demo farm that offers training on soil quality, tree planting and pruning, and education about C.A.F.E. Practices. We will also operate wet and dry mills. Between the agronomists and partners with years of leadership in the coffee industry, we have the experience necessary to be very successful. I am excited about the immense opportunity this partnership represents.

But what’s even more rewarding is the opportunity to give back to the farmers in this area. During my visit, I met with 15 excited farmers who represent the 27 ethnic tribes that live in the lush, rural area of Yunnan. This is the ideal region with the perfect climate for growing specialty coffee in China. The area is Pu’er, known for its beauty and also its exquisite teas.

We are looking forward to this historic partnership with the Chinese government and Yunnan farmers. For us, this will be a market with huge potential for growth. For the farmers, this means hope for a brighter, more stable business that respects the people and the land of this area.

We are doing something truly special. In just a few short years, we will reinvent the coffee sector in China and bring an awareness of Yunnan coffee to the rest of the world.

comments (5)

Comment FAQ

    • saralynn.harris
    • 12/8/2010 5:22 PM

    I've recently been reading "Stuffed and Starved" and it talks a lot about the struggle of farmers in China and the rise of the suicide rates in that niche. It is so encouraging to see Starbucks reach out and make this connection for the better of both parties and all eagerly awaiting coffee enthusiasts!

    • justdanaz
    • 1/9/2011 6:59 AM

    I'm sorry this is completely off-topic but I'm unable to find any other means on this website of expressing my thoughts. Starbucks makes so much of its ethical commitment to the world and the environment, why not that same commitment to nutritional health? 41 GRAMS OF SUGAR IN THEIR CHAI TEA??? Just hand out 8 oz. Coke's instead! Come on SBUX, a 12 oz. McD's soda has 40 grams of sugar. Comparitively your chai has over 60 grams!! Why isn't sugar-free an option?

    • atilling
    • 2/9/2011 3:50 PM
    • Coffee4metlc
    • 2/10/2011 6:23 PM

    justdanaz, we all have the opportunity to eat and drink what we like, or feel we must. Starbucks does offer many options that start without sugar or *****. If you feel that a Starbucks Chai Tea with 60 grams of sugar is so offensive that you'd trade for a COKE..ugh...you don't get the point at all. Due to my age and the potential for health problems to creep up on me I have changed to having the Latte's and such less often, and brewing their whole bean coffee's at home. Try a be

Find Us Online