Supporting Farmers and Their Communities
Responsibly grown, ethically traded coffee means working with farmers to produce coffee in ways that help provide benefits to their business, their communities and the environment.
We know our long-term success is linked to the success of the thousands of farmers who grow our coffee. That’s why we work on-the-ground with farmers to help improve coffee quality and invest in loan programmes for coffee-growing communities. It's not just the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do for our business. By helping to sustain coffee farmers and strengthen their communities, we will ensure a healthy supply of high-quality coffee for the future.
We plan to increase our farmer loan commitment to $20 million by 2015 and provide farmers with incentives to reduce the environmental impact of coffee production.
What We've Been Doing
Starbucks has established Farmer Support Centres in Costa Rica and Rwanda to provide local farmers with resources and expertise to help lower the cost of production, reduce fungus infections, improve coffee quality and increase the production of premium coffee.
During the growing and harvest cycles, many coffee farmers dip into their modest reserves to cover expenses until they can sell their crops. Some farmers may even experience a cash shortage, prompting them to sell their crops early – and for less – to local buyers.
Starbucks provides funding to organisations that make loans to coffee growers, which will help them sell their crops at the best time to get the right price. The loans also help farmers to invest in their farms and make capital improvements. Over the years, we’ve committed over $15 million to a variety of farmer loan funds.