Tim Hortons introduces new Partnership Blend coffee stemming from a $7 Million, eight-year sustainability investment

Tim Hortons unique Coffee Partnership reaches major milestone in sustainable coffee production with first-ever Tim Hortons Partnership Blend - sourced 100% from coffee farmers in the program

OAKVILLE, ON, May 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Tim Hortons Coffee Partnership has been working for more than eight years to improve the lives of coffee farmers in Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil and Colombia by empowering them with the business skills needed to prosper. This work has had a significant impact in helping these farmers bring their coffee to market at attractive prices. Today, following years of technical support and education, and an investment of approximately $7 million, Tim Hortons is announcing its inaugural Partnership Blend coffee - the company's first coffee product sourced solely from the work of the Coffee Partnership.

The new Tim Hortons Partnership Blend coffee is a unique formula, much different from Tim Hortons regular coffee blend.  It's still of medium body, balanced with subtle yet complex notes of cocoa and nuttiness.

The Partnership Blend comes in a ground coffee format, sold in a 343g bag and available now at participating Tim Hortons restaurants across the country. The coffee retails for $7.69, with $1 from every purchase going back to support the Tim Hortons Coffee Partnership.

"The Coffee Partnership was conceived eight years ago with the singular purpose of improving the lives of small-scale coffee farmers by tackling the economic, social and environmental aspects of farming," says Bill Moir, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer, Tim Hortons. "Through our Partnership projects, we have been working directly with farmers in the regions where we source our coffee to help them improve farming practices, produce higher volumes and better quality coffee while respecting the environment. We have seen our approach become critically important to small-scale farmers in Latin America, especially as they have been facing changing growing conditions over the past years."

The Partnership works with the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation out of Germany, a non-profit organization committed to sustainable development that runs grassroots projects with small-scale coffee farmers all over the world.  The people at the Neumann Foundation are Tim Hortons arms and legs on the ground in the project regions.  The two parties work with exporters, non-governmental organizations and, most importantly, the farmers themselves to provide the skills and tools small-scale farmers need to adjust to various market conditions. The impact of the program is also measured by a third-party auditor who tracks and reports results. To date, the Partnership has worked with more than 3,400 farmers and has influenced the lives of more than 17,000 people in project communities in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras.

"The Coffee Partnership works because the training and technical assistance that is provided to farmers, empowers them to make their own business decisions, and allows them to gain access to international markets. The farmers are not beholden to supply their coffee to Tim Hortons.  It's a free-market system," says Moir. "That's an important distinction from most coffee certification models.  We are proud that after eight years of investment and through our partnership with the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation, our approach has evolved to a point where, for the first time, Tim Hortons is able to make Partnership coffee commercially available in our restaurants."

For more information about the Tim Hortons Coffee Partnership visit http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/difference/coffee-partnership.html

Fans can join the conversation on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/timhortons), follow on Twitter @TimHortons and Instagram (www.instagram.com/timhortons) by tagging their photos and comments with #TimsCoffeePartnership

Tim Hortons Inc. Overview

Tim Hortons is one of the largest publicly-traded restaurant chains in North America based on market capitalization, and the largest in Canada. Operating in the quick service segment of the restaurant industry, Tim Hortons appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, espresso-based hot and cold specialty drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots, specialty teas and fruit smoothies, home-style soups, fresh Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, hot breakfast sandwiches and fresh baked goods, including our trademark donuts. As of March 31st, 2013, Tim Hortons had 4,288 systemwide restaurants, including 3,453 in Canada, 808 in the United States and 27 in the Gulf Cooperation Council. More information about the Company is available at www.timhortons.com.

Image with caption: "Tim Hortons unique Coffee Partnership reaches major milestone in sustainable coffee production with first-ever Tim Hortons Partnership Blend - sourced 100% from coffee farmers in the program. (CNW Group/Tim Hortons Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130515_C6816_PHOTO_EN_26696.jpg

Image with caption: "Coffee Partnership Infographic (CNW Group/Tim Hortons Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130515_C6816_PHOTO_EN_26697.jpg

SOURCE: Tim Hortons Inc.

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