By Heidi Peiper/Starbucks Newsroom
Your neighborhood Starbucks may look a little different this National Coffee Day (Sept. 29). Instead of the traditional menu boards, participating Starbucks stores in the United States will showcase the good that comes from every cup of coffee through Sunday, Oct. 1. Starbucks is using its menu boards for the first time to shed light on the role of coffee farmers, and bring awareness to the challenges they face, including coffee leaf rust and climate change.
“We want our customers to know that they can feel good about their Starbucks purchase, which is positively impacting coffee growing communities around the world,” said Kelly Goodejohn, director of ethical sourcing, Global Social Impact & Public Policy for Starbucks. “This year, we want to share the incredible milestones that each coffee purchase is helping us realize. Making these investments today will help ensure the success of the next generation of coffee farmers and their families.”
The menu boards highlight three ways each purchase helps make a difference for those whose livelihoods depend on it:
99 percent ethically sourced coffee: Starbucks is committed to ensuring coffee is grown responsibly and is ethically sourced through C.A.F.E. Practices,the company’s comprehensive approach to sourcing that meets social, economic, environmental and quality standards.
100 million coffee trees:Thanks to Starbucks partners and customers, nearly 30 million trees have been donated to coffee farmers over the past two years, with a goal of providing 100 million healthy, rust-resistant trees to farmers by 2025. The effort will help ensure the long-term supply of coffee and the economic future of coffee farmers by replacing trees declining in productivity due to age and disease such as coffee leaf rust.
Making coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product: Starbucks is a founding member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a growing coalition of more than 80 industry and conservation leaders led by Conservation International. The challenge is convening the sector to sustain the future supply of coffee while ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of farmers and workers and conserving forests, water and soil.
Introducing Single-Origin Guatemala Huehuetenango
This National Coffee Day weekend, participating Starbucks stores in the United States will feature an extraordinary brewed coffee from a farming community that benefits from the company’s 100 million tree commitment and is part of the C.A.F.E. Practices program – Single-Origin coffee Guatemala Huehuetenango (pronounced way-way ten-ango). For generations, farmers have tended the remote mountainside farms in Huehuetenango, letting the coffee grow until it reaches a deep ruby red color. The result is a smooth and balanced cup characteristic of Guatemalan coffees but with a sweetness unique to the region.
“This is my passion,” said Ottoniel Villatoro, a third-generation farmer who owns the La Victoria Champila y Anexos in the San Pedro Necta zone of Huehuetenango. “My father, my grandfather and I have lived this way. My hope is that my children continue and more generations will continue selling coffee and producing a coffee with good quality.”
The Starbucks Foundation is also working to strengthen coffee communities in Huehuetenango with a $500,000 grant to World Neighbors to help improve financial security and access to food, water, health care and sanitation. For the past three years, the Starbucks Foundation has partnered with World Neighbors, working with 4,000 rural families in the nearby Atitlan and Chorti regions of Guatemala. This new three-year grant will allow the program to expand to 3,000 families in 30 Huehuetenango coffee communities and run farmer-to-farmer field schools demonstrating sustainable farming methods for growing food to feed families and their communities.
“We are excited to begin work on a second project in partnership with Starbucks, building on the positive momentum of the first Starbucks project focused on improving the dietary, hygiene, clean water and income generation needs of 4,000 marginalized families in Guatemala,” said Kate Schecter, CEO of World Neighbors. “Not only will the beneficiaries receive similar training, but by utilizing farmer-to-farmer field schools, those involved will learn from each other to instill the lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and disease, thereby expanding the benefits of the program even further.”
Single-Origin Guatemala Huehuetenango is also available as a whole-bean coffee to brew at home, in participating stores for a limited time.
“Huehuetenango is a precious region,” said Villatoro. “It’s a zone with a unique cup and I hope that people try and enjoy because it’s something very special.”