Starbucks stores in the UK and Ireland today began serving 100% Fairtrade Certified and Starbucks(TM) Shared Planet(TM) verified coffee in all of their espresso-based beverages. Every one of the two million visitors per week can walk away with a Fairtrade Certified Cappuccino, Latte or Mocha and help support small-scale farmers and their communities in developing countries around the world.
This move is expected to increase the amount of Fairtrade Certified coffee sold in the UK and Ireland by 18% this year. Moreover, Starbucks commitment to continuing a long-term relationship with Fairtrade and small-scale coffee growers is projected to generate a Fairtrade premium of more than GBP350,000 from sales in the UK and Ireland alone in the coming year, for farmers to invest in community projects.
Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation UK, said, "Starbucks is really setting the pace for the coffee industry by using its global size for good. This move will expand the reach of Fairtrade and deepen its impact on tens of thousands of farmers who are at the very heart of the Fairtrade system. Farmers need Fairtrade now more than ever, and even though these are difficult economic times, people across the country are staying loyal to their ethical values and to Fairtrade. From today they can enjoy Fairtrade values over their favourite Starbucks coffee."
Starbucks is already the world's largest purchaser of Fairtrade coffee, and the switch to Fairtrade Certified espresso in the UK will help contribute to a total global annual payment to small-scale coffee farmers estimated at GBP2,500,000.
"Starbucks has always been committed to ethical sourcing and this is a milestone in our partnership with Fairtrade which spans over a decade," said Darcy Willson-Rymer, managing director, Starbucks UK & Ireland.
"Using 100 % Fairtrade Certified coffee for Starbucks espresso is just one aspect of our work together. We are also sharing our collective knowledge and best practices in responsible sourcing to further improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers as well as to ensure the availability of the highest quality coffee. From farm inspections through to programmes to help farmers improve coffee quality and environmental sustainability, as well as loan initiatives - the work is extensive and certainly doesn't begin and end with the FAIRTRADE Mark on our cups," continued Willson-Rymer.
Starbucks® Fairtrade Certified Espresso Roast is sourced largely from Latin America, specifically across Guatemala, Costa Rica and Peru, and it will be these farming communities who benefit most immediately, with other producers set to follow.
Carlos Vargas Leiton, Financial Manager of Coopetarrazú, an organisation of 2,600 farmers in Costa Rica, including 457 women who are the sole providers for their families said, "We have a long and successful history of trading with Starbucks and welcome its increased collaboration with Fairtrade. We will benefit from guaranteed minimum prices and Fairtrade premiums so we can plan for the future with more confidence. We will invest in environmental and social programmes to improve the wellbeing of our members and communities, such as health and education initiatives to benefit women and farm workers, with a direct impact on more than 50,000 people."
The collaboration between Starbucks and Fairtrade organisations has been welcomed by the UK Government's Department for International Development.
Douglas Alexander, International Development Secretary, said, "Shoppers in the UK are showing an increasing appetite for Fairtrade - with 7 in 10 households purchasing Fairtrade products - so we're delighted that this move will give more consumers even more choice every day.
Tens of thousands of farmers will benefit from this commitment, which shows the power of businesses, both big and small, to contribute to sustainable community development through trade, and have a major impact on the lives of poor people."