Our commitment to communities extends beyond our stores to include the regions that supply our coffee, tea and cocoa.
Starbucks invests in programs designed to strengthen local economic and social development. We are working collaboratively with nongovernmental organizations that have experience and expertise in working with farming communities.
In addition to social investments, we also support communities through farmer loans and ethical sourcing programs with Conservation International and Fairtrade, among others.
In Indonesia’s Aceh province, Starbucks has teamed with Save the Children to improve children’s health and education in coffee-growing communities through BLEND (Better Living, Education, Nutrition, and Development).
The BLEND project began in 2009. Since that time, it has made a real difference in the lives of children and their families from more than 40 communities in the Bener Meriah district. Participating communities have doubled their vaccination rates, drastically improved health worker capacity, and quadrupled the number of community health posts. Moving forward, our plan is to expand BLEND to other Bener Meriah communities.
In tea-growing regions of India and botanical-farming communities in Guatemala, Starbucks has helped support health and economic development programs through Tazo’s Community Health and Advancement Initiative (CHAI) project, a joint partnership with Mercy Corps. Since 2003 Starbucks and Tazo suppliers have contributed $1.1 million for CHAI. We are now involved in a three-year project to impact more than 11,000 people with water and sanitation improvements, youth engagement, education and income generation.
Since fiscal 2005, Starbucks has helped support the Guatemala Education Initiative, an effort with Save the Children to bring education programs to remote coffee-producing villages in that country. In 2011 Starbucks launched a three-year project with a $1 million contribution to Save the Children to improve education, health and nutrition for coffee-farming families in Guatemala’s Huehuetenango region.
Starbucks also supports water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in water-stressed countries through the Starbucks Foundation’s Ethos Water Fund. For each bottle of Ethos® water purchased, a contribution of $.05US ($.10CN in Canada) is made to the fund. Since 2005 $7.38 million has been granted, benefitting approximately 430,000 people around the world. In 2012 two new grants were made in East Africa, an important coffee-growing region for Starbucks.
What We've Been Doing
Starbucks has established Farmer Support Centers in Costa Rica and Rwanda to provide local farmers with the resources and expertise that help lower the cost of production, reduce fungus infections, improve coffee quality and increase the yield of premium coffees.
Locations of Starbucks Farmer Support Centers:
- San Jose, Costa Rica – opened 2004
- The agronomists cover Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, and South America
- Kigali, Rwanda – opened 2009
- Mbeya, Tanzania – started ground operations in 2011
- Maniziles, Colombia – opened in 2012
- Yunnan, China – opened in 2012
- Costa Rica – Global Agronomy Center – opening in 2013
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 fulfill their cash flow needs during harvest time, and to make infrastructure investments that result in better competitiveness.
Farmer Loans Goals and Progress
Goal: Invest in farmers and their communities by increasing farmer loans to $20 million by 2015.
Progress through 2012: We increased our loan commitment to $15.9 million with a $1.3 million investment to the Fairtrade Access Fund.
To learn more about our work in farmer loans read our Global Responsibility Goals & Progress Report.
Providing access to credit at reasonable terms is a critical aspect of our farmer support model. Our goal is to invest in farmers and their communities by increasing our farmer loans to $20 million by 2015.
In 2012, we increased our total commitment to $15.9 million, including an additional $1.3 million placed in the Fair Trade Access Fund set up by Incofin Investment Management, Grameen Foundation and Fairtrade International.
The fund provides financial and technical assistance to address the needs of smallholder farmers by investing in Fairtrade producer organizations and cooperatives.
The fund represents a unique collaboration between a social investment firm and two global nonprofits that focus on helping rural communities in developing countries.
The fund launched in Latin America in 2012 with farmers in six coffee-growing countries. By investing in programs that provide access to credit, we’re helping farmers manage risk and strengthen their businesses. Looking forward, we are exploring innovative relationships to help us better leverage the loans in concert with our technical support, social development investments and coffee purchases. The fund will also expand into the Africa and Asia-Pacific farming regions.
What We'll Do Next
To help coffee farming communities around the world mitigate climate change impact, and support long-term crop stability, Starbucks is expanding the company’s $70 million comprehensive ethical sourcing program with a new farming research and development center in Costa Rica. These programs are part of Starbucks ongoing billion-dollar commitment to ethically sourcing 100 percent of its coffee by 2015.
Starbucks will adapt this active 240-hectare farm located on the slopes of the Poas Volcano into a global agronomy center. The work happening on this farm will enable the company to expand its Coffee and Farming Equity practices (C.A.F.E.), the industry-leading ethical sourcing model developed in partnership with Conservation International which ensures coffee quality while promoting social, environmental and economic standards.
In addition to supporting resiliency for farmers around the world, this farm will also influence the development of coffee varietals based on the insight offered through soil management processes.
“This investment, and the cumulative impact it will have when combined with programs we have put into place over the last forty years, will support the resiliency of coffee farmers and their families as well as the one million people that represent our collective coffee supply chain,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo. “It also opens up an opportunity for Starbucks to innovate with proprietary coffee varietals that can support the development of future blends.”
Building Better Futures
The Starbucks Foundation and Save the Children help coffee-growing families in Indonesia build better futures for themselves and their communities through the BLEND (Better Living, Education, Nutrition, and Development) program.
Learn more (video)
Starbucks also joined forces with with Save the Children to positively impact coffee-growing communities in the highlands of Guatemala.
Learn More (video)
Our ethical sourcing programs support coffee-growing communities. Ethical Sourcing Overview
Learn more about our nonprofit partners.
Our Lending Organizations
We are investing in better futures for coffee farmers and their communities through our farmer loan program and our relationships with:
What is a Farmer Support Center?
That’s Starbucks term for offices in coffee growing countries staffing agronomists and quality experts who collaborate directly with coffee farmers to encourage responsible and environmental growing practices to improve the quality and size of their harvests.