KIGALI, Rwanda, June 28, 2009 - Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX), Fair Trade Foundation and Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) today met with farmers at Dukunde Kawa, a cooperative that cultivates high-quality coffee in central Rwanda. Today's gathering was two fold, first for Starbucks and Fairtrade to listen and learn from farmers' experiences and secondly, to share details around the new Small Farmer Support Initiative (SFSI) which was jointly introduced in April 2009.
Founded in 2000, Dukunde Kawa Cooperative has approximately 4,000 members organized in three groups around three coffee washing stations which the cooperative operates in Gakenke district, Northern Province, Rwanda. This cooperative became Fairtrade Certified in 2004. The farmers grow a bourbon varietal coffee at altitudes ranging from 1,786 – 2,010 meters in a setting that is typical of RwandaÃ¢â¬âlush with ongoing green hills and nearly every square inch of land planted with food crops or coffee. Today's activities included farm and wet mill tours, a demonstration of a mobile cupping lab and a conversation about resources available for farmers.
The SFSI is a three year pilot that will leverage the on-the-ground expertise and resources that Starbucks and Fairtrade have in coffee growing regions. The initiative will be supported by the Starbucks Farmer Support Centers in Latin America and east Africa to facilitate outreach in key regions across Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific. Farmers will have access to the $12.5 million Starbucks currently has invested in farmer loan programs through social investment organizations such as Root Capital, Verde Ventures and Calvert. Starbucks has an additional goal to increase access to funding for farmer loans to those related organizations to $20 million by 2015 as part of the Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ commitment to ethical sourcing. Together, the organizations hope to increase the participation of small-scale farmers in the global specialty coffee market.
Starbucks Coffee Company provides an uplifting experience that enriches people's lives one moment, one human being, one extraordinary cup of coffee at a time. To share in the experience, visit www.starbucks.com.
About the FAIRTRADE Mark and Fairtrade Foundation
The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member. This independent consumer label appears on 4,500 retail and catering products in the UK. Today, more than 7 million people - farmers, workers and their families - across 59 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
About Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO)
FLO is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder association that encompasses a global network of Fairtrade organizations 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.
Photos/MultimediaÂ Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5996322&lang=en