For the third year, Starbucks Mexico is supporting an initiative the company launched in 2014 to address an ongoing threat of coffee leaf rust to farmers in the region.
The initiative, called Todos Sembramos Café, which means “We All Grow Coffee,” is underway now through August 15 in more than 500 Starbucks® stores in Mexico. During the two-and-a-half-month period, Starbucks Mexico will donate a rust-resistant coffee tree to farmers in the Chiapas region for every bag of whole bean coffee purchased by customers. In addition, on June 17 sales from Starbucks® “Coffee of the Day” will go toward supporting tree donations.
Coffee rust, known locally as “la roya,” is a plant fungus damaging millions of coffee trees around the world, making it difficult for farmers to produce high-quality coffee. According to Mexico’s Asociacion Nacional de Café (ANICAFE), coffee harvests have now reached their lowest volume in 45 years.
Since launching the Todos Sembramos Café program in 2014, half a million coffee trees have been delivered to 180 farms, in turn benefitting 19,000 families in Chiapas, a region known for producing some of the highest-quality arabica coffee in Mexico.
Starbucks is working closely with Agroindustrias Unidas de Mexico (AMSA), ANICAFE and the Alsea Foundation as it continues to grow the program. Contributions from coffee producers, distributors and customers make Todos Sembramos Café a powerful tool to address the threat to the coffee-growing community, according to Daniela Ortiz, marketing director for Starbucks Mexico.
“This way we reinforce our commitment to this sector that now finds itself vulnerable because of the effects of rust and climate change,” Ortiz said.
Todos Sembramos Café inspired the One Tree for Every Bag Commitment, which Starbucks launched in the U.S. in 2015. One Tree for Every Bag pledges to plant a coffee tree in areas affected by the rust fungus for each bag of coffee purchased in participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. The program is on track to donate 20 million rust-resistant coffee trees to farmers in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador by the end of this year.
Additionally, nearly 800 jobs will be generated in these regions as a result of the One Tree for Every Bag Commitment. Many of them will be seasonal and long-term opportunities at the nurseries producing most of the 20 million rust-resistant seedlings.
To further ensure farm family livelihoods for generations to come, Conservation International, Starbucks and other industry leaders announced a call to action to make coffee the first sustainably sourced agricultural product in the world.