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2013 Global Responsibility Report
Message from Howard Schultz

A Message from Howard Schultz

This past winter, I traveled with the Starbucks senior leadership team to Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, the first coffee farm that Starbucks has owned and operated in our history. It was harvest season, and during our first morning each of us was given a basket and led to fields where we picked coffee cherries. In the time it typically takes for an experienced picker to fill a large basket, each of us was lucky if we picked enough cherries to cover the bottom of our own baskets.

Participating in the farm work was not only a humbling experience, but it once again reminded me of the extraordinary effort that goes into every bean destined for Starbucks coffee. It was also a time to reflect on our company’s responsibility to all the people who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood, from thousands of farmers to 200,000 partners (employees) who wear the green apron. Caring for people’s well being is a responsibility that extends beyond our fields and stores to the communities we serve in more than 60 countries.

As a company, each year we try to live up to this responsibility in new and meaningful ways. In 2013, customers and partners around the world contributed more than 630,000 hours of community service in local neighborhoods. We also reached out to 50,000 young people in 16 countries through our Youth Leadership grants, which help give young people the tools to become leaders. And when a U.S. government shutdown threatened the economy, we encouraged civility with a petition signed by nearly two million of our customers that urged America’s elected leaders to come together for the collective good.

I am especially proud that Starbucks also committed to hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses in the U.S., employing men and women who bring valuable skills to the workplace. In the coming year, we also plan to open five new Community Stores near military communities to help fund local non-profit programs that support veterans re-entering the workforce and their spouses.

As Starbucks continues to grow, we will never stop exploring innovative solutions to effect positive change. We will continue to challenge ourselves, to set aspirational goals, always refusing to accept the status quo. This is who we are. I am proud that we continue to push, to learn, and to take big swings, knowing that sometimes we may miss. But we must continue to ask ourselves, What can Starbucks do to live up to our responsibility to all the people and communities we serve?

On behalf of Starbucks, I offer my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who touched our business this past year – from the farmers who cared for our coffee through the first part of its journey to our store partners who prepared and served it with pride to millions of customers. Thank you all for helping Starbucks build an enduring company by leading through the lens of humanity.

Warm regards,
Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz
chairman, president and chief executive officer