Goals & Progress: Coffee Purchasing

Ethical Sourcing

Goal: Ensure 100 percent of our coffee is ethically sourced by 2015.


86% of our coffee was ethically sourced under C.A.F.E. Practices in 2011, up from 84% in 2010.

Coffee Purchasing

Includes green coffee purchases for all Starbucks brands. Visual representation of progress to goals, not to scale.

We know our success as a company is linked to the success of the thousands of farmers who grow our coffee. That’s why we’re working to ensure a long-term supply of high-quality coffee through our responsible coffee purchasing practices and by investing in farmers and their communities. We have found that we can serve a great cup of coffee while helping to improve the lives of farmers and protecting the planet.

Fluctuating commodity prices in 2011 made coffee purchasing exceptionally challenging for specialty coffee roasters and retailers, including Starbucks. Despite the volatile market, we were able to continue our commitment to buying and serving high-quality coffee that is responsibly grown and ethically traded through our responsible coffee purchasing practices, farmer support centers, loan programs and environmental efforts with Conservation International (CI).

The cornerstone of our approach is Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, our comprehensive coffee-buying program that ensures coffee quality while promoting social, economic and environmental standards. By 2015 our goal is that 100 percent of our coffee will be ethically sourced, meaning verified or certified, either through C.A.F.E. Practices, Fairtrade or another program.

Purchasing third-party certified or verified coffees not only meets our customers’ needs, but also helps protect the environment and the livelihood of farmers in coffee-growing regions. We have offered Fairtrade coffee since 2000. In 2011 34.3 million pounds (8.0 percent) of our coffee purchases were Fairtrade certified, making us one of the largest purchasers of Fairtrade certified coffee in the world. We also purchased 9.6 million pounds (2.2 percent) of certified organic coffee in 2011.

Another important component of our approach is a green coffee pricing model that aims to pay the prices premium quality commands, while fostering price stability and mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers. Starbucks paid an average price of $2.38 per pound for our premium quality green (unroasted) coffee in 2011.

Ethical Sourcing

Measuring the Impact of C.A.F.E. Practices

Cultivating Change by our Coffee Sourcing

See the most recent results of how the C.A.F.E. Practices program impacts people, products and the planet. Read the report.