Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) Ireland and Fairtrade Mark Ireland have today announced details of the company's industry -leading support for small-scale coffee farmers. This commitment means that 100% of the espresso coffee sold ? both whole bean and espresso-based beverages ? in Starbucks stores in Ireland become both Starbucks ? Shared Planet? and Fairtrade Certified by the end of 2009. Starbucks espresso-based coffees include its Cappuccino, Caffe Latte and other espresso-based beverages; this represents the vast majority of Starbucks beverages.
The announcement is part of a broader global commitment, (first announced last month in New Orleans) with the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) ? responsible for the development of global Fairtrade standards - that builds upon the organisations' shared history of support for small-scale coffee farmers. The 100% Fairtrade Certified Espresso in Ireland forms part of a global plan that will mean Starbucks will become the largest purchaser of Fairtrade Certified? coffee in the world, doubling its purchases to 40 million pounds (volume) in 2009, and delivering Fairtrade premiums for investment in community and business improvements by the small farmer organisations.
Speaking at the launch event today Howard Schultz, Starbucks, chairman, president and ceo, commented, "This announcement marks an important milestone in our long-term commitment to ethical sourcing and support for coffee farmers and their communities, as well as our partnership approach to Starbucks? Shared Planet?".
"Now, by linking our efforts with the global Fairtrade labelling movement, we will be able to have an even larger impact on small farmers particularly with the opening of Starbucks Farmer Support Centers in Ethiopia and Rwanda early next year."
Peter Gaynor, executive director of the Fairtrade Mark Ireland, said, "The partnership between Fairtrade and Starbucks is good news for farmers, good news for coffee lovers and another wake up call to the wider coffee industry. The public has taken Fairtrade to its heart, and so we're delighted that they will soon be able to get 100% Fairtrade certified Espresso drinks in Starbucks, from main streets to college campuses and workplaces. 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. We commend Starbucks for showing such visionary leadership in responding both to farmers' needs and consumers' interests. The recent announcement by Irish Aid of a development assistance grant of EUR7.5 million for Fairtrade and for Fairtrade Certified producers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania was based on securing these kinds of private sector commitments from companies like Starbucks. "
Darcy Willson-Rymer, Starbucks, managing director UK & Ireland said, "I am delighted that we are introducing 100% Starbucks ? Shared Planet? and Fairtrade Certified espresso into our Irish coffeehouses. Consumers here have high-levels of awareness about ethical issues, in particular, those relating to the sourcing of products. We believe that working with Fairtrade both in Ireland and globally demonstrates our real commitment to creating change in this area."
Fairtrade Mark Ireland joins the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations (FLO), Conservation International (CI) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) as key partners in the Starbucks? Shared Planet? commitment to ethical sourcing.
In addition to increased purchases, Starbucks, FLO, CI and AWF will work with Fairtrade farmers to enhance coffee quality and profitability through improved environmental and agricultural practices and to specifically expand the number of farmers participating in C.A.F.E. Practices, the ethical coffee buying guidelines for Starbucks? Shared Planet? and the Fairtrade Certified system. By joining forces, the groups expect to increase their combined positive impact on coffee farmers, their communities and the environment. Integral to the success of this effort will be the Starbucks Farmer Support Centers in Costa Rica and Africa, as well as the current investments the company is making in programs such as Root Capital, Calvert Fund and Verde Ventures that provide farmers access to credit.
About Starbucks? Shared Planet? and Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices
Starbucks? Shared Planet? is Starbucks commitment to doing business responsibly. Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices?or C.A.F.E. Practices?are Starbucks ethical coffee sourcing guidelines under Starbucks Shared Planet. C.A.F.E. Practices is a comprehensive, industry-leading program that addresses the environmental, social and economic transparency issues that are critical to the financial stability and long-term health of coffee farms and farmers. Launched in 2004, the program was developed in collaboration with Conservation International. The more than 200 C.A.F.E. Practices indicators are evaluated by third-party verifiers under oversight by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). Approximately 185,000 farmers currently participate in C.A.F.E. Practices. To learn more about Starbucks? Shared Planet?, visit www.starbucks.com/sharedplanet.
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.
About the FAIRTRADE Mark and Fairtrade Mark Ireland
The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) of which Fairtrade Mark Ireland is the Irish member. Fairtrade Mark Ireland is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. Today, more than 7 million people - farmers, workers and their families - across 59 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system. By doubling its purchases of Fairtrade Certified coffee globally, Starbucks will help directly improve the lives of more than 100,000 farming families in developing countries across Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa and support programs and projects like educational scholarships, medical clinics, basic infrastructure enhancements and quality improvement initiatives. For more information on Fairtrade in Ireland, visit www.fairtrade.ie
About Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO)
FLO is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder association that encompasses a global network of Fairtrade organisations that are actively involved in supporting and empowering producers, raising consumer awareness and campaigning for changes in the rules of conventional trade. FLO's role is to develop and review the standards that Fairtrade producers must meet, and the terms of trade for importers, exporters and retailers. FLO also directly helps producers to gain Fairtrade certification and to develop market opportunities.
FLO's members include:
-three producer networks in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean that Fairtrade certified producer groups may join
-20 national organisations, including Transfair USA, that promote Fairtrade in their country and licence companies to use the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark on products. There are currently Labelling Initiatives in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
For information on Fairtrade globally, visit www.fairtrade.net