Our Farmer Promise: Ensure the future of coffee for all

We work with more than 450,000 farms that grow the highest quality Arabica coffee in the world. Our promise to farmers is that we will always work to ensure a sustainable future of coffee for all, underscoring the decades-long commitment that we’ve made to coffee farmers and farming communities.

As we move to become a truly global company, we have a unique opportunity to enhance lives by promoting ethical and sustainable practices globally. Driven by our industry-leading Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices (C.A.F.E. Practices) verification program, with over 450,000 participating farms, we help support farmers and their families and ensure that our supply chain promotes sustainable and transparent growing practices.

Coffee farmers and farming communities are already feeling the impacts of climate change and our warming planet. We are proud to invest in regenerative agriculture, reforestation, forest conservation and water replenishment to support a healthy coffee future. With that in mind, Starbucks is focused on helping farmers get the financing they need to support their businesses and families in rapidly changing conditions. We also provide coffee trees that can help farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change and increase their productivity over the long- term. We are also working to conserve and restore the forests that are critically important to agriculture systems.

At our best, we promise to ensure a sustainable future of coffee for all through a comprehensive approach that centers and respects our farming communities and the planet we share.

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In this section:

Ethical Sourcing of Coffee

We are proud to have developed one of the coffee industry’s first set of ethical sourcing standards in 2004 in collaboration with Conservation International. C.A.F.E. Practices is a verification program that measures farms against economic, social and environmental criteria, all designed to promote transparent, profitable and sustainable growing practices while also protecting the well-being of coffee farmers, their families and their communities. C.A.F.E. Practices helps Starbucks work with farmers to create a long-term supply of high-quality coffee while positively impacting the lives of coffee farmers and their communities.

Global Farmer Support 

Starbucks operates ten Farmer Support Centers in coffee- producing countries around the world. Our agronomists work with farmers to learn and implement the latest findings and best practices in agronomy, quality and social responsibility. Through the Farmer Support Centers, farmers gain access to updated water conservation methods, new varietals of disease-resistant coffee trees and advanced soil management techniques, including promotion of coffee shade canopy. Working one-on-one with farmers in the field, supporting co-ops and suppliers, Starbucks agronomists build upon traditional growing methods to help the next generation of farmers improve the quality, productivity and profitability of their crops while supporting the implementation of C.A.F.E. Practices across Starbucks coffee supply chain globally.

Starbucks future is directly linked to the livelihoods of farmers, their families and their communities, so we take seriously our responsibility to care for the people who are part of the coffee journey.

Since first offering financing in 2000, the Starbucks Global Farmer Fund has supported the business financing needs of farmers to help ensure a sustainable, long-term source of coffee. Farmers often cannot access traditional business loans because of excessive interest rates and stringent minimum qualifications. The loans offered through our Global Farmer Fund enable farmers to plant new trees, enhance their infrastructure and bolster their financial stability in the face of changes in climate and markets. Our goal is to supply $100 million in farmer loans by the end of 2025.

Sustainable Future of Coffee

By 2030, Starbucks is aiming to achieve carbon-neutral green coffee and conserve water usage in green coffee processing by 50%. Our work in FY23 focused on refining the methods we use to calculate the carbon and water footprint of green coffee. This foundational work is crucial for accurately tracking our progress in the years ahead.

Water stewardship and soil health are important parts of our strategy.

To achieve this, we are supporting the transition to sustainable eco-wet mills to separate the fruit of the coffee cherry from the coffee bean while conserving water and increasing efficiency for farmers. We are also working alongside farmers to gain deeper knowledge about soil nutrition requirements by promoting soil sample analysis and tailoring recommendations about soil nutritional needs. These efforts have the potential to reduce on-farm carbon emissions and increase the productivity of crops.

Climate-resistant coffee trees are a critical part of our effort to help farmers adapt to climate change.

Since making the commitment to distribute 100 million coffee trees by 2025, Starbucks has now distributed more than 80 million of the next generation of climate-resistant coffee trees in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. Additionally, in Colombia, we provide coffee seedlings to farmers and have delivered more than 53 million seedlings as of FY23.

Protecting and restoring forests addresses a serious threat to coffee farms and communities around the world.

In FY23, Starbucks continued its efforts to protect and restore forests that are impacted by land-use change and deforestation. These agroforestry efforts will help remove carbon and support a carbon neutral pathway while also benefiting freshwater ecosystems and coffee communities.

Sustainable agricultural practices include preserving and enhancing biodiversity. To further advance our transparency, we will conduct a material biodiversity impact assessment with respect to our coffee supply chain, to be completed by the end of our 2025 fiscal year and performed in accordance with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures framework.