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Starbucks Expands $70 Million Ethical Sourcing Program With New Global Agronomy Center

  Starbucks Expands $70 Million Ethical Sourcing Program With New Global
  Agronomy Center

    Starbucks purchasing 240-hectare Costa Rican farm to convert to global
     agronomy research and development center; strengthens climate change
   mitigation and long-term crop stability program; supports billion-dollar
commitment to buying 100 percent ethically sourced coffee by 2015; allows for
   the development of coffee varietals in support of new, innovative blends

Business Wire

SEATTLE -- March 19, 2013

To help coffee farming communities around the world mitigate climate change
impact, and support long-term crop stability, Starbucks Coffee Company
(NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced that it is expanding the company’s $70 million
comprehensive ethical sourcing program with a new farming research and
development center in Costa Rica. These programs are part of Starbucks ongoing
billion-dollar commitment to ethically sourcing 100 percent of its coffee by
2015.

Starbucks is expanding the company's $70 million comprehensive ethical
sourcing program with a new f ...

Starbucks is expanding the company's $70 million comprehensive ethical
sourcing program with a new farming research and development center in Costa
Rica. (Photo: Business Wire)

Starbucks will adapt this active 240-hectare  farm located on the slopes of
the Poas Volcano into a global agronomy center. The work happening on this
farm will enable the company to expand its Coffee and Farming Equity practices
(C.A.F.E.), the industry-leading ethical sourcing model developed in
partnership with Conservation International which ensures coffee quality while
promoting social, environmental and economic standards.

In addition to supporting resiliency for farmers around the world, this farm
will also influence the development of coffee varietals based on the insight
offered through soil management processes. This proprietary work could offer
significant advantage in the development of future blends.

“This investment, and the cumulative impact it will have when combined with
programs we have put into place over the last forty years, will support the
resiliency of coffee farmers and their families as well as the one million
people that represent our collective coffee supply chain,” said Howard
Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo. “It also opens up an
opportunity for Starbucks to innovate with proprietary coffee varietals that
can support the development of future blends.”

In total, Starbucks has invested more than $70 million in collaborative farmer
programs and activities over the past 40 years, which include C.A.F.E.
practices, farmer support centers, farmer loans and forest carbon projects.
All of these integrated programs directly support improving farmer livelihoods
and a long-term supply of high-quality coffee for the industry. This new
facility will build on and globally scale the work currently happening at five
farmer support centers worldwide in Rwanda, Tanzania, Colombia, China – as
well as Starbucks first farmer support center which opened in San Jose, Costa
Rica in 2004.

Starbucks farmer support centers are home to agronomists and quality experts
working directly with farmers to provide support in growing high-quality
arabica coffee. By providing farmers with expertise and training in soil
management, field-crop production and milling processes, these practices can
improve the quality and size of the harvest. The varied elevation of the farm
will allow the agronomists to test responsible growing practices while
ensuring robust biological diversity. The research discoveries and best
practices from this work will inform growing principles for farmers around the
world.

“The convergence of climate change and ecosystem deterioration creates stress
on the ability of farmers to produce crops. The work of Starbucks over the
last several years to address many of these issues facing coffee producers -
including the environmental, economic and social development of coffee
production - is very impressive,” said Peter Seligmann, chairman and ceo of
Conservation International. “The opportunity this continued investment brings
will ensure the most innovative resources are brought to bear for
sustainability and resilience across all farming communities.”

In 2008 Starbucks and Conservation International began conducting impact
assessments of C.A.F.E. practices on coffee farmers and communities, and in
2012 aggregated the year-over-year performance impact. For example, on average
farmers employing C.A.F.E. practices saw 98 percent of farms maintaining or
improving soil fertility and 100 percent of school-age children on smallholder
farms were able to attend school. Of the 545 million pounds of coffee
purchased by Starbucks in fiscal year 2012, across 29 countries, 93 percent of
it was ethically sourced.

Starbucks has signed an agreement to purchase the Costa Rican farm through a
subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Trading Company. The terms of the purchase are
not being disclosed and upon final closing in May, Starbucks will immediately
begin evolving the location into a research and development facility.

About Starbucks Corporation

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.

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Contact:

Starbucks Coffee Company
Starbucks Media Relations, 206-318-7100
press@starbucks.com
 
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