Supporting and Helping Coffee Farmers Worldwide

The Birmingham Post (England), January 2, 2007 | Go to article overview

Supporting and Helping Coffee Farmers Worldwide


Byline: ALAIN PONCELET

Dear Editor, I wanted to respond to Ruth Thompson's letter (Post, Dec 20).

Starbucks pays premium prices and partners with coffee farmers to ensure their long-term success. In fiscal 2005, Starbucks paid 23 per cent above the average New York "C" price during the same time period for all of its coffees. Between 2002 and 2006 we increased purchases of Ethiopian coffee by more than 400 per cent and are committed to growing those purchases in the years to come.

In addition to paying premium prices, we contribute to coffee farmers worldwide as part of who we are. We have invested more than pounds 2.15 million in projects to help coffee farmers improve their communities in Africa.

Although less than six per cent of our coffee is purchased in Africa, we have been active in development efforts and programs.

Since 2002, we've made pounds 1.22 million in investments and loans in Ethiopia development programmes via organizations like CARE, Oxfam, Wate-rAid, and Sidamo Coffee Farmers Cooperatives. In our partnership with African Wildlife Foundation we have invested pounds 307,000 in supporting and improving the quality of coffee grown on small farms. We began purchasing coffee from Rwanda in 2004 and have made loans and grants of more than pounds 102,000 to support infrastructure development.

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