Company Continues to Expand Its Commitments to the East African Coffee
KIGALI, RWANDA & SEATTLE, December 1 /CNW/ - Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX)
chairman Howard Schultz announced today that the company will open a regional
Starbucks Farmer Support Center in Rwanda. The facility will provide an
opportunity for Starbucks to collaborate with farmers in Rwanda and in the
East Africa region, and demonstrates the company's continued support for their
efforts to expand the availability of their high quality, specialty coffee
"We are very excited to have a regional Starbucks Farmer Support Center
here in Rwanda. We look forward to working with Starbucks to offer additional
support to the coffee farming community here and in the neighboring
countries," said Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. "This
center will offer many new opportunities to enhance our methods and produce
even greater volumes of our high quality specialty coffees."
The Rwandan center, like the one announced earlier this week to be
located in Ethiopia, will have an agronomist (agricultural scientist) on staff
and will be similar to the Starbucks Farmer Support Center established in 2004
in Costa Rica. The staff will work with East African coffee communities to
improve coffee quality and growing practices. They will also work to increase
the number of farmers participating in Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.)
Practices, Starbucks sustainable coffee buying guidelines. Since the
establishment of the company's Latin American Farmer Support Center, Starbucks
has seen improvements in quality evaluation scores, a 20 percent increase in
yields per hectare, an 80 percent reduction in the use of pesticides and a 5
percent increase in the suppliers' C.A.F.E. Practices scores for participating
growers in that region.
Schultz is joined in Rwanda by Cliff Burrows, president Starbucks EMEA
(Europe, Middle East and Africa); Dub Hay, Starbucks senior vice president of
Coffee and Global Procurement; and Sandra Taylor, Starbucks senior vice
president of Corporate Social Responsibility. During his visit in Rwanda,
Schultz will meet with President Kagame as well as visit a local coffee farm.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to participate in the further
development of coffee farming practices in Rwanda and East Africa in general.
The fine coffees grown here are cherished by people around the world, and
Starbucks is extremely pleased both to support the farming community and to
share these delightful coffees with people across the globe through our nearly
15,000 stores," said Schultz.
Starbucks is strengthening and deepening its engagement with East Africa,
with a special focus on new technical capacity building programs such as the
Farmer Support Center to help farmers produce the high quality coffee
purchased by specialty coffee buyers like Starbucks. Today's announcement
builds on the investments Starbucks has made in East Africa over the past five
years. This includes:
-- A commitment to double the amount of East African coffee purchased in
2006 by 2009.
-- More than $4 million to help East African coffee farmers improve
their communities through funding projects such as schools and bridges.
-- Programs with non-profit organizations such as CARE and WaterAid to
address rural development challenges in the region.
-- An additional $1 million into a program to provide access to low
interest loans to East African coffee farmers through the non-profit lender
Root Capital, for a total of $10 million in loans to coffee farmers worldwide.
Starbucks Coffee Company provides an uplifting experience that enriches
people's lives one moment, one human being, one extraordinary cup of coffee at
a time. To share in the experience, visit www.starbucks.com.
For further information:
For further information: Starbucks Coffee EMEA B.V. Hans van Bochove
(for EMEA), +31-0-6-2111-3174 firstname.lastname@example.org or Starbucks Coffee
Company (for all markets except EMEA) Stacey Krum or Mark Lamb,