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Committed to 100% Ethical Sourcing

Building a Future with Farmers

We’ve stood with coffee farmers on their land, gotten to know their names and their families. We have seen for ourselves the good that happens when 170,000 farmers and Starbucks work together. It has the power to change the entire industry. More than 15 years ago we committed ourselves to 100% ethically sourced coffee. We’re investing in the farmers themselves and their communities. And we are sharing our agricultural knowledge, research and best practices openly with all farmers, whether we buy coffee from them or not, allowing everyone to farm better. We depend on each other—our futures are linked. Starbucks is dedicated to building that future with coffee farmers, together.

  1. Ethical Sourcing

    C.A.F.E. Practices
    We believe in paying farmers a fair price for the high quality coffee we buy, and in working with farmers to grow it in ways that are good for the planet. More than 15 years ago, we partnered with Conversation International to develop Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E) Practices – a buying system built around four simple, yet critical ideas: Quality, Economic Transparency, Social Responsibility and Environmental Leadership. The process is verified by an outside third-party observer at every step, rewards farmers for their good work and helps ensure the coffee we are buying is grown and purchased ethically. We are committed to buying 100% of our coffee this way, and share the program and guidelines openly. It is now the most recognized ethical sourcing system in the industry.

  2. Open Source Agronomy

    Farmer Support Centers
    We are on the ground every day collaborating with farmers, sharing technical expertise and support for growing high-quality arabica coffee. Our Farmer Support Centers are open to everyone –seven throughout the world, in every growing region.

    Hacienda Alsacia
    On Hacienda Alsacia, our own working farm in Costa Rica, we are both growing our own coffee and collaborating with others to do our own research into the future of the industry. From addressing coffee rust disease to finding better ways to produce and process coffee, including an experimental nursery of over 165,000 seedlings and 200 varieties. All of this knowledge is available to any farmer who can benefit around the world.

  3. Farmer Loans and Community Investments

    Farmer Loans
    The farmers we work with are in rural areas where credit is hard to access. Many times they are also too large for micro-loans and too small for conventional loans. We have committed to provide more than $20 million each year to coffee farmers and cooperatives caught in this gap. These loans provide crucial money they need – and would be challenging to get otherwise – to grow their business and improve the quality and yield of their coffee farms. The success of their farms becomes the success of their communities and families as well.

    Social Investments
    We support and give back to the communities we are part of, including the communities where coffee is produced. From schools and medical clinics to fresh clean water and more, we are investing in major multi-year projects – more than $15 million since 2005. Each one takes on a critical need, an investment that makes a large and sustained impact that connects us closely to the farms where our coffee is grown.

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