Monday, 1 December 2008

Starbucks Coffee Company announces that by the end of 2009, all of its espresso coffee drinks in the UK and Ireland will be both Fairtrade certified

Today, Wednesday 26 November, Starbucks Coffee Company announced that by the end of 2009, all of its espresso coffee drinks in the UK and Ireland will be both Fairtrade certified and sourced to their own Shared Planet quality and sustainability criteria.

This announcement follows on from the news that Starbucks is doubling its global purchases of Fairtrade Certified coffee in 2009, from around 20 million pounds (in weight) this year, to 40 million in 2009. This commitment is likely to benefit around 100,000 small scale farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Starbucks first began to source Fairtrade coffee in 2000, and first offered Fairtrade certified coffee in the UK in March 2002. More recently this has been available as a filter brewed option under the Cafe Estima Blend, which will also continue to be served in Starbucks coffee shops. The big difference is that all those lattes, cappuccinos and espressos, which constitute the vast majority of the coffees they serve, will also be Fairtrade before the end of next year.

All of the coffee involved in this development will come from small scale farmer co-operatives. For some, this will increase the volumes of Fairtrade certified coffee producers are already selling to Starbucks. It may also mean that existing Fairtrade certified co-operatives will have the opportunity to start selling to Starbucks, and also to join the Shared Planet programme. There may also be small farmer organisations selling to Starbucks but not yet in the system who will have the opportunity to become Fairtrade certified.

This means that Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International is now a formal partner in the Starbucks Shared Planet programme, reinforcing their ethical sourcing commitment with our robust standards, independent certification and producer support programmes - and of course the independent guarantee of the FAIRTRADE Mark. On the ground, it also means that more Fairtrade farmers' groups will be able to access the services of Starbucks farmer support centres, including two new ones being established in Rwanda and Ethiopia.

To find out more, please visit www.fairtrade.org.uk

We'd also like to share with you a comment on this development from a Fairtrade partner. Carlos Vargas Leiton is the Finance Manager of Coopetarrazu in Costa Rica, a Fairtrade certified co-op of 2,600 farmers including 457 women who are the sole providers for their families.

"This initiative gives us peace of mind, because it includes a long-term commitment to purchase significant volumes of our coffee with guaranteed minimum prices and Fairtrade premiums. Now we can plan for the future with more confidence, investing in environmental and social programmes to improve the wellbeing of our members and communities, such as health, education and other initiatives to benefit women and farm workers, with a direct impact on more than 50,000 people."

Please do pass this news on to your friends, neighbors and networks. We will continue to keep you informed on this partnership as it develops.