Starbucks Deepens its Commitment to China by Creating Pathways in Yunnan Coffee Farming Communities

Announcement builds on the Starbucks China Farmer Support Centre’s work to train 50,000 coffee farmers and contributes to improving education and health services for 6,000 children in 30 villages by the end of 2023

Marks first phase with grant to China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) to improve the lives of coffee farmers and their families in Yunnan Baoshan

Shanghai, CHINA (October 24, 2018) – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced its commitment to strengthen its efforts to create pathways out of poverty for the coffee farming communities in China. By the end of 2023, Starbucks aims to build on the agronomy training efforts by the Starbucks China Farmer Support Centre (FSC) to train 50,000 farmers across the region, while improving the education and health of 6,000 children in 30 villages.

The first phase of this commitment begins with a pilot program with China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) in Conggang and Nankang villages in Yunnan Baoshan prefecture. This approximate RMB3.5 million (US$500,000) initial grant, from The Starbucks Foundation, administered by the non-profit organization, Give2Asia, is the first of many partnerships to positively change the lives of China’s coffee farming communities. More than 1,000 farmers, and nearly 400 school-aged children in these two villages, will be directly impacted through capacity building and livelihoods training for farmers and enhanced education and health examinations for children.

“Starbucks has helped establish Yunnan as one of the most important coffee producing regions globally by improving market access for farmers and bringing the best of China’s arabica coffee to the world. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary in China, we want to do more to share our open-source agronomy expertise to raise the incomes for even more farmers, and to change the destiny for their children through access to better education,” said Belinda Wong, ceo, Starbucks China. “I am thrilled to partner CFPA as their unparalleled expertise and capabilities make them the ideal partner to kick-off our commitment to address pressing needs faced by China’s coffee farmers even more effectively. This is only the beginning of our ambition to scale our efforts, one village at a time, to build thriving coffee farming communities for generations to come.”

“I am excited to see Starbucks, a global coffee leader, join in China’s ‘targeted poverty alleviation’ efforts,” said Zheng Wenkai, President, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation. “Education is the key to lifting families out of poverty. Starbucks comprehensive approach to leverage their expertise to better the income of coffee farmers, while improving education for their children, is an innovative model that will have long-term, sustainable impact.”

Holistic Approach to Build Thriving Farming Communities in Yunnan

Starbucks is dedicated to working with local farmers to bring high quality Yunnan coffee to the world. Since 2012, the Starbucks China FSC in Yunnan Pu’er, one of nine FSCs globally, has been sharing its open-source agronomy expertise and resources, training nearly 17,000 farmers in Yunnan province on sustainable farming practices to date. Leveraging Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, Starbucks sustainability guidelines for growing and processing quality coffee, Starbucks will further help Yunnan farmers improve their farming practices to increase the quality and price of their coffee.

As part of the partnership with CFPA, coffee farmers in Conggang and Nankang villages will receive customized agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers, soil improvements, as well as access to irrigation and processing facilities. These efforts will improve farmer livelihoods, strengthen the community and ensure the long-term sustainability of coffee in this region.

“Despite farming coffee for the past 18 years, I have not been able to keep up with the market demand for quality. My children had to leave home and work in the city to make ends meet. I hope the training will help me improve the quality and price of my coffee so that I can realize my dream to provide my granddaughter with better education, my children to return home and we reunite as a family,” said 64 year-old Yan Zuyun, farmer in Conggang Village. 

Improve Education and Health for Students

Schools in rural areas face significant challenges in serving the diverse needs of the children. Starbucks holistic approach to building thriving coffee farming communities includes addressing the educational needs of children so that no child will be left behind and is given opportunities to learn and grow. Starting with the two schools in Conggang and Nankang villages, Starbucks will scale this same approach to elevate education quality for 6,000 children in 30 villages in the next five years.

The partnership with CFPA will provide nearly 400 elementary school students each with over 400 hours of supplemental education annually, including intensive tutoring and group learning activities by qualified instructors. In addition, CFPA will provide enrichment activities, such as interpersonal communications, arts and teamwork, to help students with their mental and emotional development. Free regular physical examinations will also be provided to all students, with additional support for medical conditions which directly impact their ability to learn, such as hearing and vision.

As a global coffee company deeply-rooted in China, for China, Starbucks is committed to its long-term responsibility to invest in meaningful ways to local communities. The partnership with CFPA is part of the Starbucks China and The Starbucks Foundation’s five-year RMB132 million (US$20 million) commitment to create meaningful opportunities for communities facing barriers, strengthen partner-driven and locally-relevant community engagement in Mainland China, and improve lives of Yunnan coffee farmers and their families.